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Hanoi’s first metro line conducts trial run again, official start unknown

The ongoing commercial trial will be monitored by Vietnamese employees from state-owned Hanoi Metro Company Limited.


Trains of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line are ready for a commercial test run. 



The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line, the first of its kind in Hanoi, on October 28 started a 20-day commercial test run for appraisal purposes, local media reported.

During the trial run, all the line's operations will be thoroughly checked. Staff at all stations along the line are on duty at operation rooms and ticket booths. Electronic signs and loudspeakers are turned on giving instructions to metro commuters. Six to nine trains will run on the track everyday. 

According to Head of Training of China Railway Sixth Group Co. Ltd. Xing Qi Si, the metro line made its first trial run in September 2018, but that test was only supervised by Chinese experts from the Shenzhen Metro Company.

The ongoing commercial trial will be monitored by Vietnamese employees from state-owned Hanoi Metro Company Limited, Xing Qi Si said.

Xing added that the 20-day period will be used to verify the system safety and operational capacity of all employees, which is a mandatory step in the inspection process.

As reported by the Ministry of Transport in early October, work on the line is 99% complete, the 1% remaining work is mainly cosmetic.

The project has experienced several delays, the latest one was explained by the fact that the Chinese contractor has not provided certificates and documents for foreign experts to peruse and evaluate the system’s security, the ministry said.



The interiors of the stations of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line are completed. 



However, Tang Hong, the director of the Cat Linh - Ha Dong Railway Project, said the company has provided all the documents to the Vietnamese investor, adding that the investor has made additional demands that are difficult for the Chinese contractor to meet.

Hong added that French consulting firm Apave-Certifier-Tricc consortium (ACT), which was last month hired by the Ministry of Transport to examine the design, construction and operation of the line, should have joined the project in 2016 when the construction had basically finished and equipment had been installed.

The Chinese contractor said ACT applies European standards to the metro line built to Chinese standards, creating another problem in completing the relevant paperwork.

The delays have costed the company US$2 million a month on average in expenses for 200 Chinese and Vietnamese staff, office and house rents, among other expenses, Tang Hong added.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong railway line, which covers around 13 km, running between Cat Linh street in Dong Da district in Hanoi downtown and Yen Nghia bus station in Ha Dong district, began in October 2011 and was originally planned for completion in 2013. 

The line serves 12 stations and a depot at Phu Luong ward in Ha Dong district and has a rolling stock of 13 trains at a frequency of two minutes. Each train, running at speeds of between 35 and 80 km per hour, consists of four carriages and can accommodate up to 1,000 passengers.

The railway construction has been financed by official development assistance from China with a total investment of US$868 million after several cost overruns. Hanoitimes

Anh Kiet

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