Transport in Vietnam
The Vietnamese railway network has a total length of 2,600 kilometres (1,600 mi), dominated by the 1,726 kilometres (1,072 mi) single track North–South Railway running between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The national railway network uses mainly 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge, although there are several 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge and mixed gauge lines in the North of the country. There were 278 stations on the Vietnamese railway network as of 2005, most of which are located along the North–South line. The Vietnamese railway network is owned and operated by the state-owned enterprise Vietnam Railways (VNR), which operates a number of different subsidiaries involved in construction, communications, training, and other activities connected to railway maintenance.
The overall condition of railway infrastructure in Vietnam varies from poor to fair; most of the network remains in need of rehabilitation and upgrading, having received only temporary repair from damages suffered during decades of war. A joint Japanese-Vietnamese evaluation team found that the poor state of railway infrastructure was the fundamental cause for most railway accidents, of which the most common types are train crashes against vehicles and persons, especially at illegal level crossings; derailments caused by failure to decrease speed was also noted as a common cause of accidents.
- People's Republic of China
Two railways connect Vietnam to the People's Republic of China: the western Yunnan–Vietnam Railway, from Haiphong to Kunming, and the eastern railway from Hanoi to Nanning. The railway into Yunnan is a metre gauge line, the only such line to operate inside China; it may, however, be converted to standard gauge. Railway service along the Chinese portion of the route is currently suspended. Cross-border service was available until 2002, when floods and landslides, which frequently caused delays along the route, caused serious damage to the tracks on the Chinese side. Railway access to Nanning is done through the border at Đồng Đăng, in Lạng Sơn Province. Regular service generally entails stopping at the border, changing from a Vietnamese metre-gauge train to a Chinese standard-gauge train, and continuing on to Nanning.
The Yunnan–Vietnam Railway will form the Chinese part of the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link, which is expected to be completed in 2015.
- Cambodia and Laos
There are currently no railway connections between Vietnam and Cambodia or Laos. As part of plans established by ASEAN, however, two new railways are under development: one branch connecting Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and one connecting the North–South Railway to Thakhek in Laos. The Vietnamese portion of the Phnom Penh railway would begin with a junction of the North–South Railway at Dĩ An Railway Station, and would end in Lộc Ninh, Bình Phước Province, close to the Cambodian border, linking up with a similar project on the Cambodian side. According to the plan established by ASEAN, this stretch is scheduled for completion by 2020; it will form part of the Singapore–Kunming Rail Link project, overseen by the ASEAN–Mekong Basin Development Cooperation (AMBDC). The proposed railway into Laos would run between Vung Ang, a port in Hà Tĩnh Province, to connect with the North–South Railway at Tân Ấp Railway Station in Quảng Bình Province, then crossing through the Mụ Giạ Pass towards Thakhek. According to plans established by ASEAN, the line may then be extended via Thakhek all the way to the Laotian capital Vientiane. Both Laos and Thailand have expressed interest in the project as a shorter export gateway to the Pacific Ocean.
National railway company Vietnam Railways has proposed a high-speed rail link between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, capable of running at speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph). Once completed, the high-speed rail line—using Japanese Shinkansen technology—would allow trains to complete the Hanoi–Ho Chi Minh City journey in less than six hours, compared to around 30 hours taken on the existing railway. Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung had originally set an ambitious target, approving a 1,630 km (1,010 mi) line to be completed by 2013, with 70 percent of funding (initially estimated at US$33 billion) coming from Japanese ODA, and the remaining 30 percent raised through loans. Later reports raised estimated costs to US$56 billion (almost 60 percent of Vietnam's GDP in 2009) for a completion date in the mid-2030s. On June 19, 2010, after a month of deliberation, Vietnam's National Assembly rejected the high speed rail proposal due to its high cost; National Assembly deputies had asked for further study of the project.
Vietnam's road system includes: national roads (quốc lộ) administered by the central government (marked by red and white milestones); provincial roads (tỉnh lộ or đường tỉnh) managed by provinces (blue and white); district roads (huyện lộ or đường huyện) managed by districts (green and white); urban roads managed by cities and towns; and commune roads managed by communes. The total length of the Viet Nam road system is about 222,179 km with 19.0% paved, mainly national roads and provincial roads (source: Vietnam Road Administration, 2004). The national road system length is 17,295 km with 27.6% of its length paved. The provincial road system is 27,762 km of length with 23.6% paved.
Road finance comes from a number of sources including the government, overseas donors such as the ADB, WB, JBIC and business organizations. Road investment recovery is mainly through tolls collected on bridges and roads, in accordance with laws mentioned above.
Expressway is rather a new concept for Vietnamese, traffic is growing rapidly but the major roads are dangerous due to inappropriate design and an inappropriate traffic mix. Expressways would solve these problems along the key corridors, by separating high speed traffic from slower, local traffic.
Viet Nam currently recognizes two classes of expressway. Both have a minimum of two lanes in each direction, but Class A has grade separated interchanges, while Class B has at-grade intersections. There are 4 design-speed categories: 60, 80, 100 and 120 km/h. Generally all cars, buses and trucks are permitted on the expressway but cong nong and motorcycles of less than 70 cc engine capacity are not.
List of expressways:
- Hanoi - Hai Phong. Length: 96 km.
- Hanoi - Ninh Binh. Length: 79 km.
- Hanoi - Thai Nguyen. Length: 61 km.
- Hanoi - Bac Ninh. Length: 39 km.
- Hanoi - Dai Lo. Length: 31 km.
- Hanoi - Hanoi International Airport. Length: 35 km.
- Bac Ninh - Lao Cai. Length: 279 km.
- Lien Khuong - Prenn. Length: 18 km.
- Ho Chi Minh City - Long Khanh. Length: 45 km.
- Ho Chi Minh City - My Tho. Length: 75 km.
In April 1995, a 125-kilometer natural gas pipeline connecting Bach Ho with a power plant near Vũng Tàu went into operation. With the subsequent addition of compressors, the volume pumped rose to more than 1 billion cubic meters per year. In 2005 a 399-kilometer underwater pipeline, the world's longest, began to carry natural gas onshore from the Nam Con Son basin. The pipeline's anticipated capacity is 2 billion cubic meters per year, while the basin has an estimated 59 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves. Vietnam has 28 km of condensate pipeline, 10 km of condensate/gas pipeline, 216 of natural gas line, and 206 km of pipeline for refined products.
Ports and harbors
- Cam Ranh - large deep water port and used by Marco Polo during his voyages to China; formerly a major military facility for the U.S. Army and US Navy during the 1960s; later used by the Soviet Navy and the Vietnamese Navy
- Da Nang - Tien Sa seaport is the third largest sea port in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong; handles 3-4 million tons of cargo annually
- Hai Phong
- Ho Chi Minh City - a major port facility with several locations including Saigon port
- Hong Gai
- Qui Nhơn
- Nha Trang
Vietnam has 17,702 km of waterways; 5,000 km of which are navigable by vessels up to 1.8 m draft.
total: 579 ships (1,000 GRT or over)
ships by type: barge 1, bulk 142, cargo 335, chemical tanker 23, container 19, liquified gas 7, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 48, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1
registered in other countries: 86 (Cambodia 1, Kiribati 2, Mongolia 33, Panama 43, Taiwan 1, Tuvalu 6) (2010)
Vietnam operates 37 civil airports, including three international gateways: Noi Bai serving Hanoi, Da Nang serving Da Nang City, and Tan Son Nhat serving Ho Chi Minh City. Tan Son Nhat is the largest, handling 75 percent of international passenger traffic. Vietnam Airlines, the national airline, has a fleet of 30 aircraft that link Vietnam with 19 foreign cities. In 2004 Vietnam Airlines had 5 million passengers, up 25 percent from the prior year, and management expects the number of passengers to reach 12 million by 2010. In November 2004, Vietnam Airlines announced that it would purchase 10 Airbus A321–200 aircraft and continue negotiations for four Boeing 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft. Vietnam Airlines’ goal is to expand its fleet to 73 aircraft by 2010. Beginning in 2006, Vietnam Airlines will cooperate with American Airlines in international flights under a codeshare agreement. Vietnam Airlines’ code will apply to American Airlines flights from the United States to Vietnam, Japan, and Europe. American Airlines’ code will apply to Vietnam Airlines flights from Vietnam to Japan and Europe.
Airports with civil service
- Total : 37
- Airports with runways over 3,047 m : 9
- Airports with runways from 2,438 to 3,047 m :6
- Airports with runways from 1,524 to 2,437 m :13
- Airports with runways from 914 to 1,523 m :9
- Total: 1
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- "Infrastructure Maintenance and Construction". Vietnam Railways. Retrieved 2010-06-24.
- "Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City Railway Bridge Rehabilitation Project". Japan International Cooperation Agency. 2007. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- This Train Beats Walking (Sometimes) New York Times, 2000-12-03
- "Train travel in Vietnam". Seat61. Retrieved 22 June 2010.
- "Fact Sheet: The Singapore–Kunming Rail Link Project". ASEAN. 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- Vong Sokheng (2010-10-31). "China to bridge missing rail link". Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "The Study on the Development Plan of Thakek-Vung Ang Gateway between Lao PDR and Vietnam" (PDF). Engineering and Consulting Firms Association, Japan Development Institute (JDI). March 2010.
- "Critics urge brakes on Vietnam's high-speed rail". AFP. 2010-06-12. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "High-speed train planned for Vietnam". New York Times. 2007-02-06. Retrieved 2011-01-05.
- "National Assembly rejects express railway project". VietNamNet Bridge. 2010-06-21. Retrieved 2010-06-21.
- http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/profiles/Vietnam.pdf (public domain)
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