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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        28  March 2011

HCM City to build monorail system in 2012

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The Management Board of Urban Railways signed a cooperation and investment contract on March 26 with Italian-Thai Development (ITD) to build a monorail system in Ho Chi Minh City.

According to Nguyen Do Luong, head of the city management board of Urban Railways, ITD plans to invest in two monorail systems, namely monorail No2 and monorail No3 under a BOT plan (build-operate-transfer) and keep monorail No4 under ODA, EPC (engineering-procurement-construction) or another form.

ITD will implement the project with a capitalization of US$4.55 billion from Standard Chartered Bank.

The 13.75 kilometre monorail No2 will have an expected capacity of 90-125 passengers with speeds of 80-90 kilometres per hour. Monorail No2 will link metro No5 between Sai Gon Bridge in District 2 and Can Giuoc bus station in District 8 with metro No4 from Nga Sau Junction in Go Vap District and Khanh Hoi Street in District 4 and with metro No1 between Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien Park in District 9.

The 6.65 kilometre monorail No3 will start from Go Vap Roundabout to Quang Trung Software Park - Tan Thoi Hiep.

Speaking at the ceremony, Le Hoang Quan asked ITD to ensure high technical standards to meet all requirements including earthquake resistant. He also asked ITD to be prepared to start construction of the project by 2012.

The monorail system will help create an integrated public transport system by linking the proposed strategic underground routes.

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It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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