The history of Vietnam Railways

The first line of Vietnam Railways was constructed in 1881 with the length of 71 km linking Sai Gon and My Tho. Then the Trans-Viet line was operated in 1936. Up to now, railways network has made a rapid leap compared with the starting period in term of its scale and operation capacity. Vietnam Railway network consists of 7 main lines linking and passing through over 35 provinces and cities with difficult terrains.

With over 125 years of operation, Vietnam Railways has continually been developed and grown to become a State-owned corporation operating and maintaining all the infrastructure of the national railway network.

Milestones in VNR Development

– 1881 The first railway line in Vietnam and in Indochina with the length of 71 km between Saigon and My Tho was established

– 1898 “The railway network in Indochina and the railway line accessing into China” project was approved by the French Government and Parliament

– 1936 Completion of railway network in Vietnam with total length of 2600 km

– 1946 President Ho Chi Minh sent a letter to Vietnam Railways on 21 October praising the staff for their best services. Then the letter date is considered the Vietnam Railways Tradition Day.

– 1955 The Prime Minister promulgated a decision to establish General Railway Administration.

– 1976 After 36 years of separation, the rail line between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city was reunified connecting the North and the South of the country.

– 1990 The General Railway Administration was reformed to be the Vietnam Railway Union according to Decision No. 575/QD/TCCB-LD dated April 10, 1990 of Minister of Transport.

– 1999 The railway itineraries from the North to the South and vice versa were shortened from 58 hours (1988) to 32 hours (1999).

– 2000 The 2nd generation passenger cars were firstly manufactured by VNR. These cars have been supplied with new features and highly valued by the public.

– 2003 Establishment of Vietnam Railways Corporation based on the former Vietnam Railway Union under Decision No. 34/2003 QD-TTg dated March 4, 2003 of the Prime Minister

– 2005 The Law on Railways was approved by the National Assembly. It is the highest legal base for a sustainable development of VNR.

Nowadays Vietnam Railway have upgraded most of the trains and the quality of the cabins are much better than before. There are more and more tourist trains running up and down the country.

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