Ho Chi Minh City, March 8, 2018
The 200kph train journey will cut travel time from HCMC to Can Tho to just 40 minutes if the project gets the green light.
Construction of a railway connecting Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong delta capital of Can Tho is expected to start later this year using nearly $5 billion from a Canadian investment fund, insiders said.
The planning stages have been completed and the project is seeking investment approval for work to commence by the end of the year, said the Southern Institute for Science and Technology, which has spent nearly five years studying the project.
The city announced the plan in July last year when it said the rail link would cost an estimated $3.6 billion.
But the institute said it has signed a MoU with Canada’s MorFund Financial Inc. to secure $4.9 billion in investment for the public private partnership project.
The double-track, wide-gauge railway is expected to run 139 kilometers (86 miles), connecting the megacity with Can Tho and the nearby provinces of Long An, Tien Giang and Vinh Long, the institute said on Wednesday.
The trains will be able to run at speeds of up to 200kph, reducing travel time between the two southern metropolises to 40 minutes, compared to three and a half hours by bus.
The project is awaiting approval from the PM, the Ministry of Transport and the legislative National Assembly.
Vietnam has been making efforts to promote rail transport. A number of five-star trains with restaurant cars have been launched since last year, connecting HCMC with Hanoi and the central resort towns of Da Nang and Nha Trang.