Saturday, February 18, 2017

I'm back....

Hi. Yes it's me again.

Doesn't time fly?

I know I haven't been around to visit you for a while but I've had a few car problems which have kept me at home.

I hope you're not too cross.

No, actually I had to go back into hospital for a few days, recover from that, then a visit from my stepdaughter from Vietnam (I had to organize the visa etc.) , then Christmas, New Year and Tet and the extremely hot weather we've been having here in Sydney (3 days of 46 degrees would you believe) meant that I lost interest in a lot of things or didn't have time (don't look at my garden!).

On top of that I started building a new Australian based model railway layout. There aren't enough hours in the day. Where did I find the time to go to work?

A litle DSVN news. A new set of approximately 30 new coaches is being built/has been built at the Di An works near Saigon. Externally the coaches don't look that different to the current ones but utilize the latest technology including a new type of seating.

The rail system isn't fairing all that well at the moment with budget airlines such as VietJet 'stealing' passengers that used to travel by train because of discounted fares and of course faster travel times. Two hours instead of 2 1/2 days between Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. For business people in particular it's an easy choice. The loss of the Ghenh Bridge didn't help causing significant revenue loss. With the new bridge up and running hopefully this will ease. Revenue in 2016 was only 70% of that in 2015. Not a good sign.

At some stage this year we'll be going back to Vietnam, with a special trip to Quang Tri but while I've asked 'she who must be obeyed' for the dates she hasn't got back to me yet. At least it will give me a chance to refresh my VNR photo collection.

I've  been doing a little work on my Ga Hong Ha model railway layout but not a lot.
Here's a couple of pikkies:

Of course the Japanese signs on the new buildings will be replace with Vietnamese ones.

As part of my New Year resolution ("back on track in '17"), I'm hurriedly working on the almost complete issue 7 of the 'Re-Unification Express' and working on issue 8 almost in parallel. Issue 7 will be the last issue in volume 1, with issue 8 becoming volume 2 number 1.

Check the website for the two issues in the next few days. I've done this to signal clearly that it's a new year even if it is the year of the rooster (I'm a tiger).

Until next time....