I wrote this article while in California, USA, where the high-speed rail project started in 1996 was in trouble. The Federal Government has just cut a nearly $ 1 billion financing package, many of which are due to be stopped without construction.

The United States is the same, the business sector and the community institutions are always active, while the public sector has shown aging with its inherent problems.

The US has a highly developed transportation infrastructure. However, high-speed rail cannot compete with other methods because of the distance, there are airplanes, near cars with very convenient road system. Railways are mainly for freight and very efficient. But here, the need to build high-speed rail is not much attention because everything is okay.

Currently, only one train line is considered as a highway on the east coast, connecting Boston and Washington capital, but it is not operating effectively, so investors are not interested in this type. There is no high-speed rail that doesn't affect the US economy and the travel of people.

The high-speed railway was the most important impression when I first came to Japan in April. Shinkansen train system is operated correctly to the minute. Japan has a developed transportation system with all types. Europe has a better road, airway and high-speed rail network than the United States, but not as much as Japan.

The feeling of sitting on the Shinkansen in Japan is no different from taking a high-speed train a year ago from Yunshan, across the border from Hà Giang to Kunming, China. China has the most modern and longest high-speed rail system in the world while its road and air systems are also very developed. On the long journey from Yunshan to Beijing, using all three types of vehicles, I felt one thing very clearly: China made up its resolve to do anything. Over two decades, they have built more than 100 thousand km of high-speed roads and nearly 30 thousand km of modern high-speed rail.

In addition, Korea and Taiwan also have very developed transportation infrastructure and the way they develop it is well worth the reference. The transport infrastructure of the above places is reasonable and used effectively. High-speed rail usually starts only after the road system is complete with conventional railway system of 1,435 cm.

As a Vietnamese, who doesn't wish the S-shaped strip of land has a modern transportation infrastructure and a developed Vietnam. Nobody taxed dreams, so wishing they couldn't. However, from the perspective of policy or the role of the state - to ensure resources are allocated and used effectively - is different. A responsible state and vision cannot be expected and spread resources but need to determine priorities, when to do what. And, must be made.

The breakthrough in infrastructure together with institutional and human resources reform was identified at the 11th Party Congress. For nearly a dozen years, this can be said to be a breakthrough with the best results, however, the results are still very modest and still very low compared to expectations.

The North - South Expressway is facing challenges at the bidding stage while the connection with localities is very vacant. Going to the localities, we will immediately see the strategic bottleneck of this transport infrastructure. Therefore, the most urgent need of Vietnam today in my opinion is a high-speed road system connecting to localities. Otherwise, the localities in particular, Vietnam in general will be very difficult to go up.

For example, if Ha Giang does not have a high-speed road linking to Hanoi, it will only be a place "with heaven and earth", difficult to develop; Tay Ninh, the locality right next to Ho Chi Minh City, encountered the same problem. And in the Mekong Delta, the problem is even more urgent.

High-speed rail may be what many people want, but it is a dream for 2045. For now, what we need right away is high-speed roads. If the determination is high, take action quickly, it may be possible to have a basic completion in the next 10-15 years.

And if Vietnam continues to start on paper after project after project, everything will last forever because of scattered resources and the downtime of existing projects is longer.

Public confidence is being eroded. If the government promises to not do it, or to raise projects that implementing "cow turtles" will only make the situation worse, especially when the capacity of the Ministry of Transport and Transport is being doubted with many noteworthy issues. .

Therefore, I think that now is not the time to restart the North-South high-speed rail project when the National Assembly rejected this project in 2010. Instead, from now to 2030, Vietnam should focus on resources for highways, regular rail and air routes.

For high-speed rail, it is possible to wait until after 2030. With the convenience of increasingly improved aircraft and passenger cars, high-speed trains are difficult to compete. If the state still wants to build a high-speed train, it is advisable to start a few short routes instead of launching a huge and shocking project with many concerns, especially unresolved concerns. regarding capital sources, national budgets as well as contractors.

What will happen if China bid significantly lower than Japan or other contractors? Then will China be chosen or not? Is the dilemma with roads and some current projects not enough?

Vietnam should learn from the successful lessons of its predecessors, especially Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and more recently China. Lower your determination and do it then switch to another, do not rush to "dig" out everything but do not do much. In the two decades we have built less than 1,000 km of highways; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City - the two economic locomotives are struggling forever but not yet finished the first 20 km of the subway. Vietnam "refused to develop" because of this way of thinking and doing.

Huynh The Du