Spain to pour funds into high-speed rail in Vietnam

Following the World Bank, Spanish and Japanese investors are also setting their sights on high-speed railways in Vietnam, including the north-south high-speed project.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Danh Huy met with Spanish Ambassador to Vietnam Pilar Méndez Jiménez on February 23 to discuss the railway cooperation.

Ambassador Jiménez said that the length of the Spanish high-speed railway ranks second globally (following only China), including 30 routes and 229 high-speed trains that can reach a speed of 350km per hour.

“Our trains use renewable energy, contributing to environmental protection,” said the ambassador.

The Spanish railway also uses two parallel rail gauges, 1,435mm and 1,668mm, ensuring smooth operation thanks to an automatic gauge changer system to save costs.

Besides this, Renfe – Spain’s national railway company – has also developed high-speed railways in the US, Saudi Arabia, France, and Mexico.

The Spanish ambassador would like to work with the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport (MoT) to develop the railway system in the country, especially the high-speed railway. She has therefore asked the MoT to provide information on all relevant projects.

MoT Deputy Minister Nguyen Danh Huy said that the ministry welcomes Spanish enterprises to consider investing in a prioritised transportation portfolio.

“The government of Vietnam has issued its railway network planning for 2021-2030, with a vision to 2050, with a total investment of about $200 billion – including the investment cost of the north-south high-speed railway project,” said Huy.

The north-south high-speed railway project has been researched since 2005. It is currently being reviewed while the pre-feasibility study is completed. Based on the appraisal results, the MoT will adjust and complete the study before submitting it to the relevant authorities for consideration and in-principle approval.

Previously, also working with the MoT, leaders of the World Bank and the Japanese government expressed their intention to invest and cooperate with Vietnam to develop the north-south high-speed railway.

The MoT and the Ministry of Planning and Investment have agreed to choose an investment plan for the north-south high-speed link with a double track measuring 1,435mm that can facilitate speeds of up to 225km/h. The total investment for this project is around $76 billion.

Vietnam Investment Review