Saturday, January 12, 2013

Reunification Express Train

train to sapa
On 1 January 1995, the Vietnamese Government decided to separate infrastructure expenses from transport. Since then, the Government committed to grant fund for infrastructure upgrading and maintenance expenses which before had been paid by the railway sector as well as invest in developing infrastructure.

Vietnam Railways carries out business in competitive market, has reasonable fare and pays fee to the State for the infrastructure use.

In 15/TB communique issued on 20 May 1996, the Prime Minister pointed out guideline and development strategy for Vietnam Railway Corporation to the years 2000, 2010 and 2020. Regarding investment capital for infrastructure development, the Government confirmed that it would be drawn from the State Budget and paid out in terms of infrastructure use fee. The Government also agreed to use available ODA capital to grant finance to invest in infrastructure and buy equipment for Diesel locomotive.

It's not the Orient Express, but Vietnam's Reunification Express is a great, fun way to travel. We travel 'Soft Sleeper' on all rail journeys. This is the most comfortable standard available though it cannot be compared with European standards. RE train runs all the way from Hanoi to Sai Gon (Ho Chi Minh city), stopping in Hue, Da Nang, Nha Trang and Phan Thiet (Mui Ne). On sleeper trains, generally speaking each carriage contains a number of cabins, which have four berths. Luggage can be kept in your compartment under the bottom bunks. A wash basin and communal western and squat toilets are located at the end of each carriage. Pillows and blankets are provided, meals are sometimes served o­n the train, but we recommend you bring your own food with you.

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