VietNamNet Bridge – Vinaconex General Director Xuan Mai, the investor in Hanoi’s monorail project, confirmed that the State must subsidize all other kinds of train.
VietNamNet Bridge interviews Huy about this project on VNExpress online newspaper.
VNExpress: Vinaconex proposed building a monorail from Hoa Lac to the West Lake. What can you say about the advantages and disadvantages of monorails in comparison with double rails?
Huy: Double-rail trains can transport high numbers of passengers at high speeds, so it’s suitable for longer routes. Monorail trains are good for short and medium routes, with average speeds of 70-80km per hour. In China, monorails are often from 20-40km long and double rails are used for longer distances.
The advantage of monorails is that less investment capital is needed. The total investment for the Hoa Lac-West Lake monorail route will be $8 million, just one fifth required for a double rail train.
In the current context, this advantage is very important, because Vietnam’s financial potential is limited. Moreover, monorails don’t require a lot of land.
VNE: Why did Vinaconex suggest building the Hoa Lac-West Lake monorail route?
Huy: Because this route will not require large-scale site clearance, so construction will be rapid.
The area needed to build stations is also small. We only need vast spaces for repairs and major stations, which can be built far from the city centre.
In the near future, many new residential areas will be built along this route. The Hoa Lac satellite town will also have from 500,000-600,000 residents, so a tramcar route is necessary.
VNE: What do you think about safety concerns for overhead monorail trains?
Huy: I don’t have specific statistics, but I can confirm that many countries use monorails, like Malaysia, China, Japan, Russia, USA, and Canada.
Monorails have been used for a hundred years and they have improved with the development of science and technology. We can build two separate rails for two directions. I know that there are no accidents recorded with monorail for the last 100 years.
VNE: How about the investment and ticket price for monorail?
Huy: We have not worked on the fare details, but I’m sure that it must be cheap to serve low-income earners, students, and workers. The investment capital can be regained within 20-30 years.
In other countries, investors regain their capital from monorails, whereas the State must subsidize all other forms of trains.
VNE: What do you think about the public’s habits? Can they adapt to this means of transport?
Huy: I think habits will change gradually. Using monorails, they will not face gridlock and the trains will run on time. It will take them only 10-15 minutes to reach their destinations for a 20km route with 10 stations. Moreover, as the monorail runs overhead, passengers can also see the city from above.
VNE: How will the train operate if Vietnam continues to have power outages?
Huy: The train can use two sources of power: one-way electricity from the power grid or diesel motors. We are considering which will be more appropriate.
The current power supply situation in Vietnam will affect monorail trains, but we can also use generators.