In olden days, one of the most exciting ways to visit the mountain city of Da Lat was to take the railway from Phan Rang. Authorities are now considering a $432 million USD proposal to restore the once popular railway route which is expected to boost tourism between Lam Dong Province in the Central Highlands, home to Da Lat, and Ninh Thuan Province in the plains below, where Phan Rang is located.
Pham S, Deputy Chairman of Lam Dong, said that he expects the proposal to restore the railway to receive approval in the spring from local government authorities and the National Assembly will then approve that funding. The province has urged the investing company to complete the feasibility report for the work as soon as possible so that its report can then be submitted to relevant authorities.
The Da Lat – Phan Rang rail route is one of only two in the world to use rack rails. The track, laid by the French administration of Indochina in 1932, runs a total length of 84 kilometers, including 40 km of rack rails.
It was abandoned during the Vietnam War and dismantled after the North Vietnamese victory in 1975. Only a seven-kilometer section between Da Lat Railway Station and the nearby village of Trai Mat remains and is used as a tourist attraction.