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Vietnam Railways Requests $107m to Build Protective Barriers Along Tracks

Railway accidents used to be rare occurrences, but a recent surge in collisions involving cars and trains has prompted railway operators to take action.

As VnExpress reports, Vietnam Railways is requesting VND2.5 trillion (US$107 million) from the state budget to install additional measures to prevent pedestrians and private vehicles from crossing train tracks illegally.

The company hopes to use the funding to construct protective barriers where tracks intersect with roads openly, as well as other areas where local residents have illegally created paths across the tracks. These are usually located in remote, but moderately populated areas. It’s estimated that across Vietnam there are 5,720 points where the railway network intersects with roads, about 4,000 of which are informal crossings opened by locals.

If the funding is approved, Vietnam Railways will spend it in two phases: the first, from 2021 to 2022, aims to construct barriers on 168 kilometers of railway, while the second phase, from 2023 to 2025, will finish the remaining 469 kilometers.

Building protective railing is not a new initiative either: Vietnam Railways began the work back in 2012, but the project had to stop due to insufficient budget. The company is seeking additional resources to resume constructing barriers.

According to the National Traffic Safety Committee, in the first six months of this year, Vietnam witnessed 75 railway-related accidents, resulting in 53 fatalities and 30 injuries. In total, there were 14 more deaths and four more injuries compared to the first half of 2018.

Just last month, there were three deadly train-car collisions in Quang Ngai, Quang Nam and Binh Thuan provinces. The most severe incident was in Binh Thuan on July 31, when the SE27 train careened into a 16-seater at an informal crossing, killing three people on the spot.

[Photo via Railway Center]

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