Construction work on Hanoi’s first metro line has been completed, only safety checks remain before commercial operations can begin, its project director says.
Tang Hong, director of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro project, said Thursday that the construction of the railway, installment of equipment, and training of staff, have been completed and the contractor has notified the Ministry of Transport accordingly.
Hong, who works for the main contractor, China Railway Sixth Group, said the 20-day trial run last month was shortened to 5 days after the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB) required the contractor to finish some procedures first.
“The five-day trial showed that all Vietnamese staff were capable of independently operating the metro. Trial will resume with approval from MRB.”
A representative of MRB confirmed that construction is finished, except for some equipment that do not affect operation of the metro.
The Chinese contractor is working to meet all criteria to continue its trial run, including guaranteeing the capability of staff to handle emergency situations, the representative added.
The project still needs to receive safety evaluation from the French consultancy Apave-Certifier-Tricc consortium before it can be taken over by the transport ministry.
Hong said he wanted the process to move faster, as the project was bleeding VND50 billion ($2.16 million) a month on salaries of over 200 Chinese and Vietnamese staff, as well as VND100 million ($4,300) a day on electricity.
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong route, Vietnam’s first metro line, runs 13 kilometers from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia Station in the southwestern Ha Dong District.
Work on the elevated railway started in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013, but several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it for years.
The original project estimate of $553 million has also ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.
Hanoi plans to build eight urban railway lines with a combined distance of 305 km, including three monorail segments, as per its development plan for 2030 with a vision towards 2050.