Canadian fund to invest in Saigon-Mekong high-speed rail

The project will break ground in 2018

Landmarks in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City are seen in this montage of photos taken by Tuoi Tre.

Canada’s MorFund Financial Inc. will invest 6.3 billion Canadian dollars (US$5 billion) in a high-speed rail connecting Ho Chi Minh City with the Mekong Delta region, with its last stop in Can Tho City.

The investment in the form of a public-private partnership (PPP) has been formalized in a memorandum of understanding signed between MorFund and Phuong Nam Science and Technology Institute (PNSTI), which was responsible for the project’s feasibility study.

PNSTI said the investment deal was the last legal ground needed for a complete feasibility report on the project, which would be submitted to the Ministry of Transport, the prime minister and the lawmaking National Assembly later this year for approval.

Construction of the high-speed rail, which would shorten travel time between Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho to roughly 45 minutes, is expected to commence in late 2018.

The project has been studied for five years by PNSTI and the Southern Transport Engineering Design Inc. (TEDI South), with professional assistance from local experts.

According to the research team’s proposal, the upcoming high-speed rail will run 139 kilometers from Tan Kien Metro Station in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Chanh District to Cai Cui Port in Can Tho, with stops in the provinces of Long An, Tien Giang and Vinh Long.

A map of the proposed high-speed rail between Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City in southern Vietnam. Graphic: Tuoi Tre
A map of the proposed high-speed rail between Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho City in southern Vietnam. Graphic: Tuoi Tre

New urban areas will be planned for development around each stop, each with its own industrial park, residential neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and supermarkets.

Passenger trains will be able to reach top speeds of over 200 kilometers per hour and take roughly 45 minutes to travel the entire length of the route.

According to Prof. Dr. Tran Cong Hoang Quoc Trang, president of PNSTI, the Canadian Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City has pledged to provide professional and technical support for the project’s development with its experience in modern rail technologies.

At present, the Mekong Delta region in southern Vietnam is not connected to the country’s north-south railway network, which has its last station in Ho Chi Minh City.

Traveling by road from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho takes roughly three and a half hours.

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