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Ga Thap Cham

Welcome to the "Railways in Vietnam" website as we move into our 14th year...

Since the late 1880's some form of rail transport has operated in Vietnam, built and operated initially by the French, split into two systems after 1955 and re-unified after 1975.

This website is my attempt to bring together a whole lot of disparate information about trains and railways in Vietnam in English. It is a collection of historical information, data, images and personal research. There are still big gaps in my knowledge but they are slowly being filled. Perhaps some never will be. The upheaval that has occurred in Vietnam over the past 150 years means that sadly a lot of information has been lost and will never be recovered.

Secondly, because I do not speak or read Vietnamese except in the most rudimentary sense, I have to rely on others to translate and interpret texts written in the Vietnamese language.

This is not the easiest task in the world because as Vietnamese is not my first language I have to rely on English language data, 'Google' Translations and help from my partner.  The Google translations are often very odd so my apologies to those who wrote in the original Vietnamese. My French is better but also not brilliant and many older documents are in that language.

Surprisingly since I started in late 2009, I've collected quite a bit of data and quite a few photos, though there are many omissions.

I am particularly greatful to the members of the Vietnam Railways Forum (Dau May Xe Lua) who knowingly or unknowingly allowed me to access their site and use material. Without the forum this site would be much poorer. Unfortunately the Vietnam Railways Forum seems to have died an unnatural death quite a few years ago. I don't know why and I have yet to identify a replacement. If anyone knows of one please let me know.

Tim Doling's books and work have also provided impetus for my own work,

I apologize for any errors or omissions. They are all my own work. My wife and I have just returned from Vietnam , the first visit since 2018. We were supposed to go in subsequent years , but we all know why that didn't happen. Luckily we have been able to get back this year.

Please note that the magazine  "Re-Unification Express"  is currently in abeyance. Past issues are available to download on a separate page.

2019 to 2022 were hard years for many people around the world. Luckily, while having our fair share of problems, Australia and Vietnam have missed the worst of the pandemic. Hopefully we can all get back to some form of 'Normalcy" in 2023. As I recently celebrated my 72nd birthday I hope everyone will bear with me. It takes me a little longer to do anything these days.

I would also suggest those who are interested in railways in Vietnam might find Tim Doling's Facebook Page "Railways and Tramways of Vietnam" of great interest.

JUNE 5, 2023

The last few years have been quite chaotic for me.

I retired in 2016. The onset of Covid in 2018 saw my wife and I both experience the pandemic. My father passed away on Christmas Day 2019 and we have affected a complete "tree change", buying a house and moving to a small country town some 400 kilometres north of our previous residence in Sydney.

We have now been in our new house just over 12 months so have settled in and are enjoying country life. We have a garden to develop and a new town to explore.

Because of this, the website has been sadly neglected. So I apologise to those who have been expecting updates and error corrections.

I am currently working on a full update. While I have neglected the website itself, I have not stopped collecting photos and information.

I would ask that website visitors be patient while the update is implemented.

Thank you.

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Railways in Vietnam website 2009-2023 David Gurnett
Last Updated June 5,  2023

As per Australian copyright law, some images and diagrams published on this website are in the public domain, while

all other images retain the copyright of their original owners and are reproduced purely for the purposes of research.

Copyright will be acknowledged where known.

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