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Swiss firm eyes Vietnam’s Thap Cham-Da Lat railway restoration

Swiss firm eyes Vietnam’s Thap Cham-Da Lat railway restoration

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 20:02 GMT+7
Swiss firm eyes Vietnam’s Thap Cham-Da Lat railway restoration
The Da Lat railway station, part of the Phan Rang-Da Lat rail line, is serving tourism. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Swiss railcar manufacturer Stadler is seeking Vietnamese authorities’ green light to supply rack-and-pinion railcars and other rail transport solutions to a project restoring the Thap Cham-Da Lat rail route, which runs from south-central Ninh Thuan Province to the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong.

The European firm told the administration of Lam Dong that it is taking the lead in the world’s rack-and-pinion rail industry.

Stadler is considered one of the world’s top manufacturers of electric trains that provide railway transport solutions in harsh weather conditions and for hydrogen trains, the Lam Dong administration said on Saturday.

In July last year, the Ministry of Transport approved a proposal on restoring the 84km-long Thap Cham-Da Lat railway under the public-private partnership format, at a cost of VND24.92 trillion (over US$1 billion).

Besides, Bach Dang Hotel Complex Trading-Service JSC was allowed to join the restoration project.

According to the project’s prefeasibility report, a state budget investment of around VND2.1 trillion ($92 million) is required for site clearance.

The project would be executed between January 2025 and June 2029, while its trial operation is scheduled for the second half of 2029.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (first row, 1st) inspects the status of Da Lat railway station during his business trip to Lam Dong Province, November, 2022. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (first row, 1st) inspects the status of the Da Lat railway station during his business trip to Lam Dong Province in November 2022. Photo: M.V. / Tuoi Tre

The Thap Cham-Da Lat rail route was built by the French from 1908 to 1932.

After 1975, when Vietnam was reunified, most of the rails and sleepers on the rail track were removed. Only the 6.7km-long Trai Mat-Da Lat section in Lam Dong was kept to service tourism.

A Swiss company then bought and renovated a number of railcars of the rail route to take passengers through the Alps and the Furka Pass in Europe.

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Mai Vinh - Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News

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