Vietnam train - Privately owned train on state owned railway
The 5 Star Express, the first privately owned and the first five-star train in Vietnam, on December 16 began running on the Ho Chi Minh City – Nha Trang – Ho Chi Minh City route.
This train was developed and is operated by Truong Sinh Advertisement Company and the Saigon Railway Company. Equipped as a ‘moving five star hotel’, the developers hope to meet the demand of passengers. It will also help generate more and more value added services to be provided on the railway.
Truong Sinh Company’s representative said that it takes out insurance for passengers at compensation levels 15-30 times higher than the normal levels for accident insurance.
It is estimated that the total insurance premium of the 5 Star Express reaches VND65bil ($4.02mil). VIP passengers can get the compensation level of VND300mil/person/accident. Bao Viet Saigon, a branch of the Bao Viet Financial and Insurance Group, is the insurer.
The December 16 train carried Hwang Sung Won, born in 1948, Republic of Korea’s nationality, Chairman of the ROK community in Vietnam. Mr Hwang Sung Won was the 1millionth tourist to Nha Trang City.
The privately owned train is considered a milestone in Vietnam’s railway transportation history. Only in the last few years has private investment in the railway transportation been encouraged.
Experts have forecast that more and more private owned trains will run on state invested railways as investors find the services very profitable. When talking with VietNamNet about the fact that Vietnamese private investors have been getting more deeply involved in railway transportation, the chairman of the group, specialising in producing paper, said that Vietnam had gone far ahead of Thailand in this field.
However, a lot of questions have been raised over the participation of private investors in railway transportation: Which mechanism will be applied to the enterprises that have trains running on state owned rails? What will be the fees for leasing the rails? Which kinds of investments will be open for private investors?
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