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Saigon Railway Station Might Get a Snazzy Vintage-Theme Makeover Soon

The Saigon Railway Station might get an "old Saigon" makeover this year.

With Vietnam’s rapid increase in wealth and concurrent demand for travel, the transportation industry and the government are starting to face pressure to expand and upgrade existing infrastructure to accommodate people’s growing needs.

The country’s railway system is especially in need of renovation as most of the facilities are remnants of past decades. While there have been talks of establishing a separate high-speed track using Japanese technologies, the project will take decades to complete.

In December last year, Lam Dong Province officials also expressed interest in reviving Da Lat’s lost rail route, but the effort remains still very much on paper. Similarly, Hanoi also unveiled an ambitious project to convert its historic train station into a massive high-rise compound last September.

Now, the Southern Airports Services Joint Stock Company (SASCO) is reportedly keen on giving the current Saigon Railway Station in Hoa Hung a makeover, too. According to Thanh Nien, SASCO’s proposal is rather modest in scale compared with the above-mentioned plans for other localities: the company hopes to rework the interior and the appearance of the station while leaving its structure alone.

The plan, estimated to cost VND15 billion (US$655,500), will renovate both floors of the building, outfitting them with modern amenities and services, and move around existing functional rooms to fit the new vision. If possible, SASCO intends to start during the off-peak travel season at the end of the first quarter and finish by the second quarter of this year.

The interior will take on a vintage theme, as shown in the digital renderings. Wrought iron windows, arches, and glass domes fill the room while colorful geometrical tiles add a distinctly Saigon flair to the coffee shops and bistros in the compound.

Function-wise, the train station will also be equipped with a food court, a VIP lounge, lockers, green spaces, and more benches. A spacious gallery area will be available for seasonal events, exhibition, or fairs in hopes of turning it into a culture-centric space to attract young Saigoneers.

The current Saigon Railway Station was built between 1978 and 1983 on the site of the old French gare de marchandises. After that, the city removed the railway section linking it with the city center, the site of which later became 23/9 Park.

SASCO was founded in 1993 and currently oversees services such as food and beverage stalls, internal transportation, and duty-free shops, among many others, at airports like Tan Son Nhat.

[Photos via Thanh Nien]

Related Articles:

The Changing Faces of Saigon Railway Station, 1885-1983

Lam Dong Officials Want to Revive Da Lat's Lost Railway With $172m

Vietnam Hopes to Start $50bn Project to Build High-Speed North-South Railway in 2020

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