Update: 11:13 | 01/11/2021
The Ministry of Transport has proposed a VND2.2 trillion ($95.95 million) project that would upgrade railway links between Vietnam and China.
It said Saturday that the project would upgrade the connection between Vietnam's Lao Cai Station and China's Hekou North Station.
A train at Hanoi's Yen Vien Station, July 2021.
The project would start at the Lao Cai Station and end at the Ho Kieu Bridge in the eponymous province that stands on the border between both countries.
It would include renovating around 3km of rail tracks at the Lao Cai Station and building a warehouse with a capacity of five million tons a year, among other infrastructural upgrades.
It would also build an additional 2,850m of rail track from the northern parts of the Lao Cai Station to the Ho Kieu Bridge, a railway tunnel spanning 1,700 m.
The project, prepared by the ministry’s Railway Project Management Unit, is expected to draw VND2.206 trillion from the national 2021-2025 budget and be completed before 2025.
Currently, Vietnam has a meter gauge railroad while China has broad gauge one. This has meant that Vietnamese trains from Lao Cai Station can only travel up to certain stations with meter gauge tracks. Goods would have to be taken out and reloaded onto another train to enter China's railway system. The same thing happens with Chinese trains wanting to enter Vietnam.
The proposed project will cut down costs and quicken transportation between the two countries, the unit said.