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Rail station now on Vietnam conglomerate’s wish list, after seaport, airport

Multifaceted Vietnamese conglomerate T&T plans to embark on a buying spree that includes not only a seaport and an airport, but also a railway station.

Multifaceted Vietnamese conglomerate T&T plans to embark on a buying spree that includes not only a seaport and an airport, but also a railway station.
Multifaceted Vietnamese conglomerate T&T plans to embark on a buying spree that includes not only a seaport and an airport, but also a railway station.

The group has proposed acquiring the right to operate the Hanoi Railway Station, making it one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Ministry of Transport’s call for private investment in the country’s traffic infrastructure.

The Ministry of Transport is encouraging private investors to join the railway, seaport, and airport management sectors.

The ministry is slated to transfer the operation rights at the passenger and cargo train stations to private investors and call for private investment to build new tracks connecting the cross-country railway with its seaports within this year.

It will also sell the right to offer warehouse and logistics services for the railway sector to private investors.

T&T has strong financial muscles and extensive project management experience to qualify as the Hanoi train station’s investor, it said in a proposal submitted to the transport ministry.

The Hanoi-based company operates in industry, finance, and real estate, according to its website.

At least seven other investors, among which are leading realty developer Vingroup, Indo Tran Logistics, and Express Trains ATH, have shown interest in joining the railway sector, according to The Saigon Times Online.

Prior to the Hanoi station proposal, T&T also expressed its intention to buy the Phu Quoc International Airport in the southern province of Kien Giang and Quang Ninh Seaport in the namesake province in northern Vietnam.

The Hanoi Railway Station was constructed during the French colonial time in 1902, according to Giao Thong Van Tai (Transportation) newspaper, which is run by the transport ministry.

Passengers can board trains to Ho Chi Minh City via the North to South railway, or other northern localities such as Lao Cai Province or Hai Phong City from the Hanoi terminal.

The Hanoi Railway Station is the largest of its kind in Vietnam, serving some three million passengers and raking in VND771.1 billion (US$35.94 million) in revenue in 2011, according to Giao Thong Van Tai.

Besides T&T, real estate behemoth Vingroup has also actively sought to invest in the public infrastructure as encouraged by the transport ministry.

Vingroup has suggested becoming the strategic investors of Vietnam’s two largest seaports, the Saigon Port in Ho Chi Minh City and Hai Phong Port in the namesake city.