Thursday, January 28, 2016
Have you seen the latest news snippets about the long awaited upgrading of the main SE services on the good old DSVN.
They've been talking about this for some time and now it's here.
Some 57 freshly painted coaches inside and out, all with modern toilets, upgraded seating, upgraded catering, new uniforms for the train crew and a small increase in speed.
SE1 & 2, SE5 &6, and SE7 and 8. For those who don't know these are the main passenger services between Hanoi and Saigon sometimes (but not officially) referred to as "Re-Unification Express".
SE3& 4 of course was upgraded at the beginning of 2015, so it's good to see the rest completed as well.
Interesting that the new uniforms are similar to the SE3/4 ones but appear to be grey rather than blue.
With a total expenditure in the millions of dollars this is a major upgrade and despite this no increase in fares, in fact a slight reduction.
Can't wait to travel on SE7 in March!
The only concern is that passengers and crew look after the new trains. This hasn't always been the case in the past. No more water sloshing around in the toilets, and plenty of toilet paper and everyone will be happy.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
The tradition at the beginning of a new year is to make a number of resolutions, things you intend to accomplish over the next 12 months.
The usual ones include losing weight, being more careful with money, learn a new skill, get a better job and many more.
Then there are the resolutions special to each person.
For me they include getting my business off the ground, keeping my website up to date, making sure "Re-Unification Express" comes out on time, and launching a new e-magazine focussed on Australian N scale model railways.
What about Vietnam Railways?
Over the past couple of years DSVN has promised a lot. Some of the promises, such as replacing and upgrading infrastructure are well on the way to being achieved.
Others such as the line to Vung Tau and the line to Canh To don't seem to have even got off the ground.
And the dream of a high speed rail between Hanoi and Saigon is still just that, a dream.
Of course Vietnam is not a rich country, so these projects rely often on help from friendly countries such as Japan, Australia, South Korea and France.
And of course in the past we have seen the problem of some of that money not necessarily ending up where it supposed to.
Aĺl we can hope is that our favourite railway system has all the success that it deserves and that those D19Es D9Es and all their sisters keep operating for our pleasure.
BTW Looks like I'll be back in May. Something about a house.
Until next time.
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Well Christmas is over for another year and New Year as well. Now for 2016!
I have made a big decision and decided to retire.
So hopefully I will actually have time to get the 'Re-Unification Express' out on time. I intend to put it on a more commercial footing (no, it will always be free) by adding a few ads and by finally getting my New Era Hobbies business off the ground.
This will be better for everyone I think.
It will hopefully give me more time to answer my email and update the website as well!
More about this in the next blog.
On another matter, the excellent Vietnamese forum daumaytoaxe seems to have disappeared. There one day and gone the next! I don't know if it has moved or if there is some technical problem.
If anyone knows where it has gone please let me know.
Until next time.