Passengers who buy a ticket for the sixty four mile (100 Kilometres) rail trip from Hue to Da Nang in South Vietnam are paying a lot less going by rail then they would going by bus.
Passengers who buy a ticket for the sixty four mile (100 Kilometres) rail trip from Hue to Da Nang in South Vietnam are paying a lot less going by rail then they would going by bus. But their cut prices journey has been described as one of the most dangerous trips in the world. Cutting through an area strongly contested by the forces of the South Vietnamese Government and the Communists, the railway has been fired upon or mined by the Viet Cong on at least fifty occasions already this year.
Despite the obvious dangers, the two wooden carriages of this lonely train - before the war, the line connected Hanoi in the North with Saigon on the South - are daily crowded with passengers. For the cheap ticket, these war-hardened local people are prepared to run the risk of ambush or mines.
SYNOPSIS: Before the war in South Vietnam, Hue railway station was the halfway point between Hanoi and Saigon. Today it is the starting point for a trip described as one of the most dangerous in the world.
Passengers on this train pay a cheap rate for their ticket. They travel to Da Nang, 64 miles to the south, and their route takes them through an area heavily contested by the forces of South Vietnam and the Communists.
The cheap fare - cheaper than the much quicker bus route - in some way compensates the passengers for the risks they run. A railroad is an easy target, and this line has been ambushed or mined by the Viet Cong on at least 50 occasions already this year.
Every day, the two wooden carriages of this lonely train are crowded with local passengers. These are people who have lived with warfare all their lives The ever-present threat of danger along these railway lines is just another part of their daily routine. Their train carries armed guards. But this is no guarantee of a safe passage. Burnt-out rail trucks are a grim testimony to the success of previous raids.
Today, the railroad is of minimal commercial importance. But the daily run to Da Nang goes on in spite of the misfortunes of war.