Vietnam Railways has launched the Hanoi-Beijing railway link and two more other routes to meet travel demand.

The Hanoi-Beijing link will have two trips a week. It will depart from Gia Lam railway station in Hanoi at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and arrive in Beijing West at 11.54am on Thursdays and Sundays.

It will then depart Beijing West at 3.45pm on Thursdays and Sundays and arrive in Gia Lam at 8.10am on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

The train will allow passengers to get on and off at Dong Dang and Bac Giang in Vietnam and Pingxiang, Chongzuo, Nanning, and Zhengzhou in China.

Passengers can buy tickets to a third country by rail when they arrive in Beijing. Vietnam Railways also organizes transit routes to Irkutsk and Moscow in Russia, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia, and Pyongyang in North Korea.

The route to Irkutsk and Moscow leaves Beijing at 7.47am every Wednesday, arriving in Irkutsk at 9.37am on Friday and Moscow at 2.28pm the following Monday. Passengers heading to Ulaanbaatar and Pyongyang need to reserve their trip at least four weeks in advance.

Vietnam Railways carried some 7.6 million passengers in the first eleven months of 2019, a decline of 6.6 per cent against the same period of 2018, according to the latest data from the General Statistics Office. It is making every effort to attract more passengers, with promotions, investments in new carriages and trains, and the addition of more routes and new smart services.

It has recently piloted an automated ticket system at major train stations in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and central Da Nang city. It also cooperated with MoMo, an e-wallet startup, to launch a new e-service that allows mobile phone users to purchase train tickets online through a mobile phone app.

Vietnam Railway also plans to upgrade the country’s rail infrastructure by building 300 high-quality train carriages and purchasing more locomotives by 2023.