After a massive re-building programme following years of war, the trans-Vietnam "United" railway was officially reopened on New year's Eve, linking Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.
GV Hanoi railway station with train, bedecked with flags and surrounded by waiting crowd.(4 shots)
CU Illuminated map of route from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City.
SV PAN Crowd around train.
CU Vietnamese foreign minister and Vice-Premier Nguyen Duy Chinh cuts ??? with scissors.
SV Firecrackers being let-off.
SV Passengers board train.
CU Station officials
CU AND LV Crowd wave as train moves. (2 shots)
CU Nguyen Duy Chinh waves.
SV AND CU Train moves off past waving crowd. (3 shots)
SV Train passes at speed.
Initials VS 18.00
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Background: After a massive re-building programme following years of war, the trans-Vietnam "United" railway was officially reopened on New year's Eve, linking Hanoi in the north to Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon.
SYNOPSIS: One train left from Hanoi railway station, which was destroyed during an air raid in December 1972, and at the same time, another train left from Ho Chi Minh City. It was a great moment for the citizens of Hanoi. Not only does it mark the completion of one of Vietnam's biggest construction projects of 1976, but it means that north and south are finally united through this important communications link.
Thousands of people turned up to see the opening ceremony in Hanoi, attended by Vietnam 's transport minister, Phan Trung Tue, the Mayor of Hanoi, Trang Duy Hun and Vice-Premier and Foreign Minister, Nguyen Duy Chinh, who cut the ribbon to officially open the line.
A trial run over the track was made from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi on the 14th of December to coincide with the opening of the Communist Party Congress there. Regular passenger services will start on Saturday the 15th of January.
Thousands of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians worked for over a year on the 1,050-mile (1,680 km) track linking the country's main cities. In the mammoth re-building project, 496 bridges, 520 culverts, 20 mountain tunnels and 150 stations needed re-building as a result of the long war, which ended when Communist troops occupied Saigon in April 1975.