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Investing in a 350km / h high-speed train is a burden on the economy.



The Ministry of Planning and Budget announced to the Prime Minister of the North and South High Speed ​​Railway Project that the total investment of the project was about $ 26 billion for the 200 km / h speed railway. ; The Department of Transportation previously proposed a 350 km / h speed train with a total capital of $ 58.7 billion. VnExpress Professor La Ngoc Khue (former Vice Minister of Transport) and I will discuss this.

Professor La Ngoc Khue. Photo: Ba Do.

Professor La Ngoc Khue, Vice Minister of National Education. Picture : bar.

– How do you comment on these two options?

– Establishment of national government transport plan in June 2010 (not approved). At that time, the total investment in the project was $ 56 billion, and the current cost of research increased to $ 58.7 billion. This option is for passengers only, with a top design speed of 350 km / h and an operating speed of 320 km / h. Cargo ships can not be exploited.

Planning The plan of the investment department is high-speed passenger railway and cargo. This is the plan proposed by the Prime Minister's decision in 2015 that high-speed trains are exploited in the speed range of 160-200 km / h and the design speed is faster than 200 km / h.

With the above two options, the speed of the 200 km / h rail is definitely lower because the higher the total investment, the higher the train speed. For example, according to TEDI (consulting unit) calculations, the top of the building (from concrete foundation to rail) at speeds of over 300 km / h is $ 5.7 billion, and the signaling information system is about $ 200 million. Also, the cost of purchasing a car is high because of the shinkansen train cost corresponding to the A320 aircraft.

– What plan do you support through years of high-speed rail research?

– We support plan of Planning Investment Division. The ministry must adhere to the prime minister's previous decision to invest in freighters and passengers in the high-speed railway with a range of 160-200 km / h mining.

Construction of the high-speed railway (350km / h) is very costly and puts an enormous burden on the economy. If the current investment in the transportation industry is more than $ 1 billion annually and the total project investment is estimated at $ 58 billion, which is expected to take place within 30 years, Vietnam will need to invest $ 2 billion annually. For high speed rail project. Perhaps Vietnam has to postpone many other transportation projects to transfer resources to the high-speed railway.

On the other hand, the construction of the city railway is still technically inferior to that of the high-speed railway, which has been difficult in the past. Close, totally dependent on foreign countries; Of course Vietnam companies are excluded from the game.

– In addition to the low total investment, why do you support the plan?

– There is a lot of capacity when investing in passenger-only high-speed railway. According to TEDI's survey, 350 km / h railway can transport 364,000 people a day. By 2050, Hanoi's passenger traffic – Vinh is 145,000, Vinh – Nha Trang is 133,000, and HCMC – Nha Trang is 155,000. Therefore, this passenger traffic occupies 40% of the 350 km / h capacity of the railway. 60% of capacity is wasted and the demand for freight transport is not met. This is ridiculous and not happening.

Over the years, the 1 meter gauge railroad, like the "Old Buffalo", could not pull many things out, only eight pairs of cargoes were sold each day, and the total cargo output per year was no more than 2.5 million tons. This output is not superior to road transport.

Because road traffic currently occupies a major market share, according to World Bank statistics, Vietnam's logistics costs account for 21% of GDP and double that of Thailand, raising product costs and losing real estate. Competition in the economy.

Thailand will build a high-speed railway network, transforming Bangkok into a regional logistics center, and Malaysia and Thailand products will be immediately available in Southwest China. Regarding Vietnamese commodities, it is very difficult to transport goods to China because railway equipment is different.

I think it is necessary to improve the route of 1m of goods now, but the investment scale is huge. In order to create the transportation capacity to compete with the road, existing railways must go to high or overpass to cross over 4,000 intersections. At the same time, the transport sector must build an overpass to keep the railway running during the rainy season. Open the dual track and clear the ground to increase the gauge to 1,435 mm so that it can be connected to the Chinese railway.

All of these investments are very expensive. Vietnam can not afford enough to build and renovate two lines of 350 km / h railway and existing railway. Therefore, a North-South high-speed rail project with two passenger and cargo targets is required.

Professor La Ngoc Khue: Investing in high-speed trains at 350 km / h is a burden on the economy.

Shinkansen bullets in Japan. Photo: Photo: Japantourist / Kyotostation.

– He raised concerns that building the 350km / h railway would exclude the Vietnamese business from the game. How does this make sense??

– We often have a habit of mentioning the feasibility of the project on the financial side, without paying close attention to technical feasibility. That is, the conditions for a Vietnamese company to access and master the technical equipment of the project. Of course, the high-speed railway of 300 km / h or more requires very high technical requirements for infrastructure construction and vehicle investment, but it does not reach the level of Vietnam.

However, if you choose a speed level below 200 km / h, your technical and technical requirements are not too high. Vietnamese companies can learn and access technical equipment. Based on this project in both the infrastructure construction and the production and assembly of locomotives and cars, this plan overcomes the risk of foreign contractors overtaking the technology supply monopoly of foreign partners and entering into all contracts of the project, and Vietnamese companies are deceived. In the game just provides a cheap labor.

– TEDI consultants said investing 200km / h does not fit the trend of the world. What do you think?

– The most important factor when choosing operating speed is that the project is feasible and effective.

China and Japan are still developing high-speed rail lines. In this regard, we need to take a comprehensive look. Not only does China have high-speed railways (over 300 km / h) on the roads connecting the metropolitan areas, the railway speed of 200 km / h is still China's main network, cargo transportation and passenger transport.

In addition to high-speed rail, Japan meets the demands of freight railroad and manpower transportation, and the railroad runs twice the narrow railway network and the electricity rate reaches 140km / h. Japan. So people build a high-speed rail network to serve the big cities. Since our railway is only 1.5% of the market share of goods and passengers, we can say that there is almost no railway in Vietnam.

Many countries have found that the construction and operation of the high-speed railway exceeding 300 km / h is irrational, uneconomical and can not compete with aircraft, but is not suitable for people's tastes. Because trains, especially tourists, are expensive, there are not enough passengers on high-speed trains. On the other hand, high-speed trains are used as a loss because of the high cost of operation due to the need to purchase spare parts.

According to the US Institute for Environment and Energy Research, only one-third of the 30 countries have selected 300 km / h and the remaining 20 countries have invested less than 300 km / h.

Many developed countries do not have more than 300 km / h of railway. In particular, Germany operated high-speed trains over 300 km / h, but the operating cost was too high, so it was judged to be an inadequate and uneconomical speed range. Therefore, after developing the fourth-generation high-speed trains from ICE1 to ICE4, the Germans today launched a new high-speed train ICEx of up to 250 km / h. According to Germany's 2025 plan, this generation of vessels will replace all of the previously developed high-speed trains.


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