The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is to loan over US$ 1.2 billion to finance the Giap Bat-Gia Lam Elevated Railway Project, according to an agreement signed by the bank and Vietnam's Ministry of Finance in Tokyo this week.

The country's first elevated railway will run from Giap Bat to the Gia Lam district in the capital Ha Noi. Of the 15.26 km just over 10.5 km will be elevated.

Nine new stations will be built with Gia Lam's station being upgraded. Four stations - Ngoc Hoi, Giap Bat, Ha Noi and Gia Lam - will connect with the national railway system.

The project will start construction this month and is expected to finish by 2017. The overhead rail route will go through seven districts of Ha Noi and will require relocating over 1100 households.

Site clearance alone is expected to cost around VND 3 trillion (US$ 187.5 million).

Once completed the system will use 27 trains to carry about 150000 passengers a day.

The project forms part of the 25 km long Ngoc Hoi-Yen Vien overhead rail route, which will link Ngoc Hoi in the south with Yen Vien, east of Ha Noi.

The initial stage of construction will be from Giap Bat to Gia Lam railway station and the second phase will be from Yen Vien to Gia Lam station and Giap Bat to Ngoc Hoi station.

The elevated Ngoc Hoi-Yen Vien twin railway is designed to ease traffic congestion in Ha Noi.

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