Skyscraper City Forum banner
1 - 20 of 5682 Posts

5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got this article from

Ho Chi Minh's subway dreams
By David M Lenard

HO CHI MINH CITY - In the past five years, with the outside world paying little attention, Vietnam has made major progress in building key infrastructure facilities that will, in the not too distant future, help the nation to shed its reputation as one of Asia's least developed countries. For example, the My Thuan Bridge, a spectacular pre-stressed concrete suspension bridge, now connects 10 Mekong Delta provinces with Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). The Ho Chi Minh Highway, an expressway that will link Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh much further west than the current National Highway 1, is slowly snaking its way south from the capital. In central Vietnam, workers are steadily digging the Hai Van Pass tunnel, which will cut hours from the Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh road route by allowing truckers to pass under, rather than over, the immense mountains separating Danang from Hue. Hanoi itself boasts a spanking-new airport.

It is now Ho Chi Minh City's turn. Some time in 2005, the government has confirmed, ground will be broken in the southern commercial metropolis for Vietnam's first subway system. Rumors that a metro was planned for Ho Chi Minh City have circulated for years; the Vietnam edition of the Lonely Planet travel guide has been mentioning it since the mid-1990s. But gossip became official reality this June, when Prime Minister Phan Van Khai approved plans for the first two underground lines.

The need for better public transport is indisputable. Ho Chi Minh City's streets are choked with traffic, mostly motorbikes, which are packed handlebar-to-handlebar in rush hour. Economic development has only exacerbated congestion and its accompanying problems of air pollution, respiratory illnesses and vehicle accidents - all three of which are getting worse by the day.

In spite of horrendous traffic conditions, Ho Chi Minh has had one of the lowest public-transit usage rates of any Asian city. According to official studies, less than 5% of intra-city trips have used public transportation in recent years. During the late 1990s, nearly empty buses could frequently be seen trundling down the city's streets. In a kind of self-fulfilling spiral, these low passenger numbers persuaded government officials not to invest further in mass transit. In reality, the number of bus routes was so meager and the quality of the buses was so low (1950s-era buses could still be seen until just two years ago) that people living in Ho Chi Minh City simply preferred motorcycles as a more convenient and comfortable alternative.

In 2003, a brand-new, air-conditioned bus fleet suddenly materialized, and passenger numbers soared overnight. Prosperity in Ho Chi Minh City has also increased to the point where, for the first time in the country's history, significant numbers of Vietnamese are contemplating purchases of private cars. National auto-sales figures are low but heading rapidly upward. Because cars are so much less efficient than motorbikes, it is clear that the colonial-era street network simply cannot handle a substantial uptake of private cars. The looming transportation crisis seems to have spurred Hanoi into approving the metro project much sooner than many observers expected.

Lines 1 and 2
Construction is expected to begin next year on lines 1 and 2, which will both terminate on Ham Nghi Boulevard near Ben Thanh Market, a tourist landmark and transportation hub. Line 1, 10.6 kilometers in length with 11 stations, will head northwest from Ben Thanh on Cach Mang Thang Tam boulevard, skirting the western edge of Tan Son Nhat International Airport, before terminating at the Tham Luong bus terminal. Line 2, 10.4km with 11 stations, will also head northwest, sharing stations and track with Line 1 up to the Tao Dan station, before turning southwest on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Tran Phu streets, and continuing west into District 5, Ho Chi Minh City's historically Chinese district, known as Cholon. The line will continue west all the way through Cholon, into District 6, before terminating at the An Lac bus terminal in Binh Chanh district.

Surprisingly, it appears that Tan Son Nhat Airport will not be directly served even though Line 1 will travel at surface level so close to the runways that passengers will be able to see taxiing aircraft from the trains. According to Le Hong Ha, vice chairman of the DoCPW's (Department of Communications and Public Works) urban metro preparation unit, there are plans for an airport station eventually. However, the Vietnamese government also intends to build a new international airport on Ho Chi Minh City's outskirts and downgrade Tan Son Nhat to a domestic-only airport, so it is possible that officials simply do not see an airport station as a high priority right now.

Other lines
There are ambitious plans to expand the system further. Line 3 will travel from the intersection of Hung Vuong and Ly Thuong Kiet streets, in District 5, north to the Hoang Van Thu station of Line 1, ending at the Lang Cha Ca traffic circle in Tan Binh district. Line 4 (which, from the look of it, may turn out to be continuous with Line 3) will start at the Lang Cha Ca traffic circle and continue east under Hoang Van Thu Boulevard through Phu Nhuan district, along Phan Dang Luu and Bach Dang streets, before ending at Van Thanh Park in the eastern part of Binh Thanh district.

The exact route of Line 5 is unclear, especially in the downtown area; the route shown on the map is an educated guess. Published sources have said it will start at the Ben Thanh Market hub and proceed south/southeast from downtown, probably under Nguyen Tat Thanh street in District 4, before ending in the Ho Chi Minh City South new development area in District 7. However, an unpublished DoCPW planning map acquired by Asia Times appears to show this line also continuing northwest from downtown along Hai Ba Trung, Phan Dinh Phung and Nguyen Kiem streets, heading north into Go Vap district along Nguyen Oanh and Le Duc Tho streets, before terminating at National Highway 1A in the far north of the city. Finally, Line 6 will travel from the already mentioned Tao Dan station in District 1, northeast along Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Xo Viet Nghe Tinh (Soviet Union) streets, before ending at the Mien Dong bus terminal in northern Binh Thanh district. The planning map appears to show that all six lines will ultimately be extended to distant suburbs of the city.

Planners also intend to eventually construct a staggering total of four ring roads to augment the two already built or under construction, additional axial roads, container ports, surface rail lines, and other facilities. Amazingly, a monorail system by Marubeni-Hitachi Corp is also under serious consideration. It is unclear where the monorail will run or to what extent it will be integrated with the subway system.

Construction timeline
The planning process for Lines 1 and 2 is much more advanced than for the rest of the system. Pre-feasibility studies were completed last year and more detailed full feasibility studies are now under way. According to Vietnamese news services, the government has already acquired 53 hectares in Tham Luong and Binh Chanh districts for the terminal depots of these two lines. A full technical survey, the last step before construction can begin, will follow. Several Vietnamese sources have stated that construction will begin in 2005. Vice chairman Le told Asia Times that construction would probably start by March.

Reports about completion dates have varied. Numerous reports have given 2010 as the target date. However, a more recent Vietnam News Service (VNS) story said the completion date for the first two lines had been moved up to 2007. Given the bureaucratic, financial and technical hurdles that remain, to say nothing of Vietnamese contractors' lack of experience with subway construction, meeting this more ambitious deadline while maintaining international standards of quality will be difficult.

For Lines 3-6, the picture is murkier. Le said the next four lines are still in the pre-feasibility study stage. However, when asked whether it would be wise to wait before Lines 1 and 2 are completed before initiating construction of other lines, he indicated that work may, in fact, begin on additional lines before the first two lines are complete, provided financing is found. The state media have avoided specific predictions about starting dates for Lines 3-6. However, given the five-year planning calendar used by Hanoi and the high level of foreign investment interest in these projects, it seems safe to assume that at least some work will be under way before 2015.

Foreign players
The Vietnamese press has mentioned many foreign companies in connection with the project. At the moment, the most important player appears to be Siemens, the German multinational conglomerate. In mid-2002, Siemens signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Le Thanh Hai, chairman of the People's Committee of Ho Chi Minh City (a position equivalent to mayor), and is now considered the front-runner to become the prime contractor for Lines 1 and 2.

A Siemens source confirmed to Asia Times Online that the company intends to become a major contractor. However, final agreement has not yet been reached. The firm helped to arrange the completion of a pre-feasibility study for the two lines, which was conducted by the German government agency CEDIS and submitted to city officials this July. Siemens is now coordinating with the German government to arrange project financing since the Ho Chi Minh City government's budget will only cover 30% of the two lines' estimated US$876 million cost. Press reports have said that additional financing will be provided by the German and Austrian governments, a Chinese railway-construction group, and German banks, although financing arrangements are not finalized yet.

Russian firms, including Moskovski Metrostroy (Moscow Metro) Co and Jobrus Ltd, are also interested. Both companies have had extensive project-related dealings with Vietnamese officials and have signed MoUs for pre-feasibility studies, design and project financing. Vice chairman Le stated that the Russian firms probably would not be involved in Lines 1 and 2 but may become contractors for Lines 3-6. At the moment, they are conducting feasibility studies for other lines, which must be submitted by the end of 2005 for them to be considered for the construction of these lines.

Other foreign companies said to be interested in the project include Mitsui, Hitachi and Nissho Iwai (Japan), Systra and LOHR (France), Louis Berger (USA) and Samsung and Rotem (South Korea). Samsung intends to join forces with Rotem, a rolling-stock manufacturer, for at least one line and is now seeking Korean government loans to that end. Mitsui has met with Le Thanh Hai to discuss the subway project, and a Hitachi source said his company is interested in becoming a subcontractor in the future.

Construction plans
Ho Chi Minh City's location on a river delta has led to concerns about soft soil and potential flooding problems. But these concerns seem unfounded. Numerous expert sources, including vice chairman Le and Dr Mikhail Krestmein, leader of the Transportation Design Institute of Moscow, have said the city's geology will not present a problem. "The soil here is harder than the soil in Shanghai and San Francisco," according to Le, and both of those cities have built successful metro systems.

The lines themselves will be constructed about 20 meters underground using tunneling methods instead of the cheaper, but more disruptive, cut-and-cover technique. It appears that virtually all tracks will be laid under (or, in a few cases, over) major streets. Ho Chi Minh City's many wide, diagonal boulevards, which mostly follow the same routes laid out by colonial city planners in the 19th century, seem purpose-built for subway construction and the proposed lines will take full advantage of this. By tunneling under streets, contractors will avoid the need to condemn buildings above ground level; this will save both time and money since property owners will not have to be compensated.

System design
Little is known about the likely physical appearance of the system. Concept sketches, for example, have not been released. However, Le did say that the system "will conform to international standards". The lines will be color-coded, as with most subway systems, although the actual colors have not been decided upon and may differ from those on the Asia Times Online map. Le also stated that a special transit police force, as exists in the New York City system, might be put in place.

Certain other features of the metro are now known. For example, many reports have said that fares will be set at VND2,500 (about 16 cents). But Le said the fare amount remains to be determined though it will definitely be set low to attract riders, even if the system loses money as a result. The trains, which will run at 80km/h, will have a capacity of 700-1,000 passengers and will arrive every five minutes during peak hours. A common transit farecard, which can be used in buses as well, will be available; metro officials are said to be paying close attention to the issue of integration with the bus system.

Staff training
Since Vietnam lacks a pool of workers with metro-related skills and experience, training engineers and managers for the metro will present a significant challenge. In March, a training course by foreign experts was organized for 40 engineers and officials in Ho Chi Minh City. According to Le, Vietnamese universities such as the University of Transportation in Hanoi will have special departments dedicated to metro training in future. Officials have observed subway training institutions in Bangkok and in Russia and will presumably set up the Vietnamese system along the same lines. The government also intends to send students overseas to study rail engineering. Finally, some workers with the Vietnamese National Railroad will be retrained for metro duties.

David M Lenard is a freelance writer now working in Ho Chi Minh City.

(Copyright 2004 David Lenard)

2,108 Posts
Looks many lines in one phase!
Siemens to supply trains and electronics systems? Can't go wrong with that...should turn out to be a great system.

111 Posts
hahaha superchan7, I think the project took about 10 to 15 years long to complete this ambitious project. However, it a start for vietnam as a less developing country in SEA. Vietnam can complete the whole project in 10 to 15 years long, and it's time they deserve something hi-tech.

25 Posts
TP.HCM: qui hoạch 9 tuyến metro, monorail và xe điện mặt đất

>>>>Ngày 25-5, Ban chuẩn bị dự án đường sắt nội ô TP.HCM đã thông qua báo cáo tổng thể qui hoạch các tuyến đường sắt metro, monorail và xe điện mặt đất đến năm 2020. Theo đó, TP.HCM sẽ có sáu tuyến metro và ba tuyến xe điện mặt đất hoặc monorail.

Theo ông Lê Hồng Hà - phó ban Ban chuẩn bị dự án đường sắt nội ô TP.HCM, dự kiến đến quí 3-2005 sẽ hoàn tất các báo cáo đầu tư và dự án khả thi xây dựng bốn tuyến đường metro do các đơn vị nước ngoài gồm Đức, Nga và Nhật đầu tư.

source : TTO

>>>>Russia's Jobrus keen on subway project 25/05/05

Jobrus of Russia has shown keen inter*est in a subway project in HCMC and has completed the prefeasibility studies for three routes in which it wants to get involved.

The company has worked with the local authorities over the project and will con*tinue to meet with city lead*ers today to give more de*tails about the routes and financing plan.

The three routes will have a combined length of 36.6 kilo*meters and will all start from the city center and fan out to districts 6,12 and Go Vap.

Up to US$ 1.4 billion will be needed for these routes and Jobrus will seek finance from Russia and other countries if the project is approved by the Vietnamese Government.

A major concern is that the Government has yet to ap*prove a master subway devel*opment plan in HCMC, in which the city has already been calling for investment in six routes.

However, Germany's Si*emens has completed the fea*sibility study for the first two routes with a total length of 20.5 kilometers, with one run*ning from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Tham Luong in District 12 and the other from the same market to Mien Tay (western) Coach Terminal in Binh Chanh District.

These two routes will re*quire some US$795 million and be financed by foreign official development assis*tance, including from Ger*many, and bank loans.


>>>>HCM City awaits approval for Ben Thanh-Thu Duc metro

Ben Thanh market is to be linked to Bien Hoa city by a metro system.
The HCM City People's Committee has submitted a plan to the Prime Minister to build a metro and bus system to link downtown Ben Thanh market with Bien Hoa city in the neighboring province of Dong Nai.

City vice chairman Nguyen Van Dua said the Prime Minister's approval would allow the city government to conduct the feasibility study for the 28-kilometre Ben Thanh-Bien Hoa route.

The city government is still negotiating to get the capital for building the metro from the Japanese Government and especially seeks to secure a soft loan from the Japan Bank for International Co-operation (JBIC).

An official of the city's Urban Metro Preparation Unit said Tuesday that several Japanese firms would provide some US$400,000 for the feasibility study.

JBIC has also nominated those Japanese firms, which may include Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sojitz Corp. and Sumitomo, to become the project's contractors, said the official.

Building the metro through districts 1, Binh Thanh and Thu Duc, 11 metro stations and one depot in Thu Duc will cost some US$644 million. Dua said he expected construction to start next year.

He said the HCM City chose to build this particular route, which was part of a bigger plan of the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) to develop the city's transportation network.

A mission from the Railway Bureau under Japan's Ministry of Infrastructure and Land also recommended constructing this route when they visited the city last August.

The route will have two parts: a 13.7km metro line stretching from Ben Thanh market to the outlying Thu Duc district and a 14.5km bus route going from Thu Duc to Bien Hoa.

After 2010, a metro line may replace the bus route if the two city governments make co-operation.

source : SGT

1,548 Posts
During the last decade, the most ambitious subway construction programs were carried out by Madrid and Seoul (four lines). Right now, Shanghai and Beijing each have at least four lines under construction. The key website is

It usually takes at least five years to build a subway line, and delays are very common everywhere, so we'll have to be patient with this. Motorbikes are actually a good way to get around, they are very popular in Taipei and in southern Europe, like Rome.

1,356 Posts
Japan set to fund subway project in city

The Japa*nese government has agreed in principle to provide concessional loans for Viet*nam to build a subway and bus link between HCMC and adjoining Bien Hoa City.
The project will receive about US$620 million from Japan, a Ministry of Communications and Transport offi*cial told the Daily yesterday.
However, the ministries and relevant agencies of the two countries will have to work together before an agreement is reached.
The ministry expects the project to get off the ground next year and be completed by 2012.
Construction of the planned Ben Thanh-Bien Hoa subway will be divided into two phases, according to the feasibility study done by Japan Rail Technical Ser*vices (JARTS.)
In phase one, a 13.7-kilo*meter subway will be built to connect Ben Thanh Market in downtown HCMC with the outlying districts of Thu Duc and District 9, and in the next phase a 14.5-kilometer bus route from Thu Duc to Bien Hoa in Dong Nai Province will go up.
Le Hong Ha, deputy head of the HCMC Urban Metro Preparation Unit, said the project was part of the city's subway development master plan prepared by the Japan , International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the transport ministry.
The city government has asked the Japanese consult*ant to extend the subway by four kilometers, Ha said.
A Japanese consortium will develop the US$644-mil-lion project. The subway will pass through districts 1, Binh Thanh, Thu Duc and 9, with 11 stations and one depot to be built.


28,495 Posts
Hmmm ... The red line passes Than Son Nhut Airport while Blue line pass Cholon and both lines end up at Benthahn Market (Central Market of Saigon)

BTW, What is "Tao Dan" which has been designated as the interchange station?

11 Posts
Date of article: July 11

HCMC embraces for metro projects to urge public transport

Vietnam’s southern hub Ho Chi Minh City is going ahead with efforts to attract foreign German, Japanese, and Russian investment on the proposed urban railway system to ease traffic congestion.
The city has also targeted to increase the current 3.5 percent of commuters using public transport and taxis to 10-12 percent by 2010 and 15-18 percent by 2020.

Plans in the works

Siemens Group has designs for two subways linking Ben Thanh Market in the city’s downtown with the districts Binh Chanh and 12 at an estimated investment capital of US$937 million.

The Government, which approved the pre-feasibility study in 2004, will receive the project submission once the geological surveys are completed.

The city government, Asian Development Bank, Deutsche Bank, along with commercial banks and the Austrian government are to be sources for investment capital, said Siemens.

Meanwhile, Japan is keen on a $625.8-million project to build another subway linking Ben Thanh Market with outlying Thu Duc district.

The Japan Railway Technical Service (JARTS) has conducted studies for the project and would source investment capital from the HCMC budget and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC).

The JARTS project will likely get off the ground sooner than Siemens project, said Vietnam Minister of Transport and Communications.

The city government has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Moscow Metro Corporation to build the city’s fourth subway linking districts 4 and Go Vap.

A city budget injection of $173.32 million and bank loans worth $279.16 million would account for project capital, according to the Russian plan.

Separately, the HCMC government also has plans to build 35km of elevated railway and monorail system within the city.

1,356 Posts
Đầu tư xây dựng tuyến đường sắt đô thị Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ

(HCM CityWeb) – Bộ Kế hoạch – Đầu tư vừa đề nghị Thủ tướng Chính phủ chấp thuận đầu tư Dự án xây dựng tuyến đường sắt đô thị Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ và đưa dự án vào danh mục các dự án ưu tiên sử dụng nguồn vốn ODA của Chính phủ Nhật Bản tài khóa 2006.

Xa lộ Hà Nội là tuyến giao thông quan trọng ở cửa ngõ Đông – Bắc nối TPHCM với Biên Hòa – Vũng Tàu, nơi có lưu lượng giao thông cao nhất trong số các cửa ngõ TPHCM và hiện đang là điểm đen về ùn tắc và tai nạn giao thông. Việc đầu tư Dự án tuyến đường sắt đô thị Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ là rất cần thiết, sẽ đáp ứng nhu cầu vận tải hành khách ngày càng tăng trên tuyến này, làm giảm đáng kể số lượng xe buýt chạy trên hành lang Xa lộ Hà Nội, giải quyết vấn đề ùn tắc giao thông, góp phần cho việc phát triển KT của TPHCM.

Tuyến đường sắt đô thị Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ là 1 hợp phần của tuyến đường sắt đô thị Bến Thành – Biên Hòa (1 trong 6 tuyến đường sắt đô thị được xác định trong Quy hoạch phát triển giao thông vận tải TPHCM đến năm 2020 đang trình Thủ tướng phê duyệt). Hợp phần Chợ Nhỏ - Biên Hòa đã mở tuyến xe buýt là phù hợp với điều kiện về vốn trong giai đoạn đầu. Trước mắt, chỉ nghiên cứu các hạng mục thuộc đoạn Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ, đoạn Chợ Nhỏ - Biên Hòa sẽ nghiên cứu ở giai đoạn sau.

Tuyến Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ bắt đầu từ Chợ Bến Thành, chạy dọc đường Lê Lợi, đi vòng qua 2 bên hông của Nhà hát Lớn, đi qua khu vực cảng Ba Son, đến Thị Nghè (đoạn này đi ngầm dài 3,8 km), vượt sông Sài gòn đi tiếp đến Thảo Điền (đoạn này đi trên cao dài 2 km), từ đây tuyến nhập vào Xa lộ Hà Nội đi trùng với tim đường của Xa lộ và dùng lại ở Chợ Nhỏ (đoạn này đi trên mặt đất dài 8,2 km).

Tuyến đường sắt đô thị Bến Thành – Chợ Nhỏ có chiều dài 14 km, tuy nhiên nếu kéo dài thêm 4 km nữa sẽ nối đến Khu du lịch Suối Tiên (cũng là địa điểm đặt Bến xe miền Đông), sẽ tăng khả năng thu hút khách, do đó chủ đầu tư được đề nghị nghiên cứu thêm trong bước tiếp theo.

Nhật Bản là nước công nghiệp phát triển, có hệ thống đường sắt đô thị hiện đại tiên tiến, do vậy việc áp dụng công nghệ đường sắt đô thị của Nhật sẽ đảm bảo an toàn, tin cậy, đáp ứng yêu cầu vận chuyển khách khối lượng lớn. Toàn bộ tuyến gồm 11 ga (4 ga ngầm, 1 ga trên cao và 6 ga trên mặt đất) và 1 depot dự kiến đặt giữa ga số 10 và 11. Tổng mức đầu tư dự kiến hơn 600 triệu USD. Dự án sẽ đem lại hiệu quả KT-XH cao như: tiết kiệm được chi phí đi lại cá nhân, tiết kiệm thời gian của hành khách và thời gian giao thông trên đường, giảm ô nhiễm không khí … đáp ứng nhu cầu đi lại của nhân dân TPHCM trên hành lang cửa ngõ phía Đông – Bắc TP. Dự án sẽ bắt đầu xây dựng vào năm 2008, hoàn thành xây dựng đưa vào khai thác năm 2012.
1 - 20 of 5682 Posts