Reunification Express

A boy at the station in Hanoi

 

After a First Great Western journey finally went okay for me last night, I was reminded of other, somewhat more atmospheric (if much dirtier) trains I’d been on. This image is taken in Hanoi, Vietnam’s ‘second city’. The railway in Vietnam, as it is in many other countries, is a symbol of the state’s development and relatively new found harmony.

Mirroring Vietnam’s history, it was bisected in 1954. But, in 1975, when Vietnam was reunited, so was the railway, hence the evocative name ‘The Reunification Express’.

This railway line holds world records for the almost painfully slow speeds the trains travel at- but the views make the speed, or lack of it, worthwhile.  It’s an amazing journey, specifically the part from Hue to Da Nang, that hugs the mountainous middle of Vietnam, with peaks on one side and the coast on the other- just don’t look down if you don’t like sheer drops.

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