Thứ Ba, 11 tháng 4, 2017

 Call for VND7trn to upgrade railways

Chairman of Vietnam Railway Corporation Vu Anh Minh spoke about the VND7trn (USD309m) plan to upgrade the sector's infrastructure for the 2017-2021 period. Minh said he had asked the Ministry of Transport to submit the plan for prime ministerial approval.

Chairman of Vietnam Railway Corporation Vu Anh Minh

What would these funds be used for?

The railway from Hanoi to Danang can only withstand 4.2 tonnes per metre, and 3.6 tonnes per metre for Danang to HCM City. It's important to upgrade the loading capacity from Danang to HCM City to 4.2 tonnes then expanding the railway at the stations so that we can increase the number of carriages from 19 to 25.

What we want to do is call for investment. In April, we'll sign a contract with Saigon Newport Corporation to build two inland container depots at Song Than and Dong Anh industrial zones. This is a corporation under the military and holds 50% of the market share so we hope the projects will be a breakthrough for the railway sector.

We also sign contracts with many tourism firms and business associations to attract more passengers and boost promotion.

Will you change the traditional colour of the current trains?

To make the trains more fresh and friendly, we'll use blue and white. We plan to provide advertising on the sides of the trains to have funds for the repaint.

After taking over the office for one month, what is your plan to attract passengers?

The board agrees to safely and fully exploit what we have right now. Meeting customer demand and build trains based on the actual number of passengers we have. We'll focus on shorter routes and develop long-distance freight.

Currently, the train for the Hanoi-HCM City route can carry hundreds of passengers but in reality, only 15 to 20 people actually choose to go the full route from Hanoi to HCM City or vice versa. The long-distance trips have the premiere hours but we need the best hours for passengers on the short routes like from Hanoi to Vinh City. Passengers on long trip actually don't really care for the hours.

In the coming time, we'll adjust the hours for the short-distance trip.

Is the railway sector afraid to compete with the airlines because of higher prices?

We choose to exploit what have the most advantages for us. The ticket prices for HCM City-Nha Trang and Hanoi-Vinh City routes are cheaper than going by plane. In addition, it takes about 4 to 5 hours to travel from the city to the airports, wait for the procedures and wait for the plane.

We have the advantages of train stations right in the centres of many cities, we’re on time and safe. However, we need better services.

We are preparing to sell a two-in-one ticket that offers cars to bring passengers from the station to Cua Lo Beach in Vinh. The sooner you book tickets, the cheaper the prices are, and giveaway tickets to people that have influential on society and help promote the sector.

We'll try to lower the prices for long-distance trips.

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