I saw three time tables of the train in Vietnam and they are from two sources, one from Travelfish, the other from Vietnam Railways. Even the time tables from the same source, Vietnam Railways are not identical. I wonder whether I made a mistake in reading the tables or the table themselves are not correct.
To simplify the explanation, I regard the table from the Travelfish which is translated into English has not been updated and I compare only the two tables from Vietnam Railways.
In the website of Vietnam Railways, there are two different kinds of web pages for the train line between Saigon and Hanoi . One is a table for the entire line(say Table1, shortly T1) and the other is a table as a line segment basis(say Table2, shortly T2).
Table1: BẢNG GIỜ TÀU KHÁCH THỐNG NHẤT CHIỀU TP.HỒ CHÍ MINH – HÀ NỘI (Hè 2009) : http://www.vr.com.vn/GiotauGiave/Banggiotau/TauHe2009/SG-HN-SE2-4-68-TN2.html
Table 2: GIỜ TÀU THỐNG NHẤT, CHIỀU TP. HỒ CHÍ MINH - HÀ NỘI (Các tuyến SE2, SE4 , SE6, SE8, TN2, TN4) CÁC GA TỪ SÀI GÒN ĐẾN NHA TRANG, http://www.vr.com.vn/GiotauGiave/Banggiotau/se28_tn24_phan1.html and similar ones.
The two tables are compared below for the departure time at several stations.
1. Train SE8
Saigon: T1:15:45, T2: 19:40
Hanoi: T1:8:10, T2:9:30
- Quite different departure times at Saigon
2. Train SE2
Saigon: T1:19:00, T2: 19:00
THÁP CHÀM: T1: 1:05, T2: 1:06
Hue: T1:15:05, T2:15:55
Hanoi: T1:4:10, T2:5:40
- The departure times at Saigon are identical but the times become gradually different.
3. Train SE6
Saigon: T1:12:20, T2: 13:05
THÁP CHÀM: T1: 15:55, T2: 18:41
Hue: T1:7:15, T2:8:20
Hanoi: T1:20:00, T2:21:10
- Different departure times at Saigon
Saigon: T1:10:05, T2: 10:05
THÁP CHÀM: T1: 16:58, T2: 17:03
Hue: T1: 11:16, T2: 11:45
Hanoi: T1:3:30, T2:3:29
- The departure times at Saigon and the arrival at Hanoi are identical or very close but the times at intermediate stations are different.
As I described in my previous post, I plan to briefly stop over at THÁP CHÀM and visit the ruin site there and take a train again to Da Nang. Depending on the time table, the possible time I can have at THÁP CHÀM chanegs from merely 50 minutes to sufficiently 1 hour and 40 minutes.
Which one is correct? Or what is the correct way for reading the tables which do not look identical in their indicated times? I got puzzled. Would sombody help me?
As you say the TF timetable is not up to date -- the English version of the Vietnam Railways website was been mostlly broken for the last coupla years. (which is why we haven' updated the scheduoel).
I can't really help on which of the two timetabls to trust, but don't take the tf one as reliable. I need to remove it from the site when am back on deck.
Perhaos ask a travel agent in vn for info - many of them have various timetables on their webstes.
sorry cant be more help.
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,770
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I don't want to seem I'm getting in your plans, but you only need to book train tickets 3/4 days before departure and in train stations they are very helpful! :)
#3 Indoluso has been a member since 22/12/2009. Posts: 133
somtam2000, Thanks for your reply. I think that leaving the timetable instead of removing it may be a good idea, too since the table is written in English and would be a big help for a beginner like as me in getting an idea on the Vietnam train though it is not an udpated one.