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Saigon to Keep Its Railways Station, Elevate Train Tracks: City Official

Ever since the collapse of Bien Hoa's Ghenh Bridge, there's been a lot of talk about what to do with Saigon's railway station. Should it stay in its current District 3 location? Should it move to an outlying district to ease traffic congestion? Should we encourage barges who cannot safely pass under a bridge to just not pass under that bridge? These are all complex questions.

However, while a Tuoi Tre survey found 54.3% of respondents supported the idea of relocating Saigon Railway Station to Bien Hoa, Saigon Railways says it will not go through with such a move. The company argues that its inner-city railway tracks do not make the streets “too congested”, reports VietnamNet, and the relocation of the train station would also come at a great inconvenience to travelers as well as some 3,000 railway employees.

Though the southern hub's main train station has made a few moves over the years, Saigon's current, prime minister-approved transportation plan – which maps out the city's development until 2020 – stipulates the station must remain in its present location.

In an effort to address some of the traffic congestion concerns, the municipal Department of Transport is aiming to build elevated railway tracks within the city center. Though this plan has long been discussed among city officials, the elevated railway plan is on hold as Saigon searches for financial options to cover the cost. There is also a US$200 million project to lay down elevated railway tracks between Saigon and Tay Ninh province which is also seeking investors, reports VietnamNet.

In the meantime, transportation officials are mobilizing US$13.4 million to repair the collapsed Ghenh Bridge and aim to finish the work by July, until which time train travelers to and from the southern hub will be transferred by bus in and out of the city.

[Photo via Flickr user cta web]

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