French firm hired to evaluate Hanoi metro safety

By Dat Nguyen   September 12, 2019 | 10:05 pm PT
French firm hired to evaluate Hanoi metro safety
A Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro train is seen on track. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
The Ministry of Transport has hired a French consulting firm to evaluate the safety of Hanoi’s first metro line before it opens to traffic.

The firm, Apave-Certifier-Tricc consortium, will examine the design, construction and operation of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line to ensure complete safety so that the project could operate soon, the ministry said in a letter responding to a group of concerned voters.

The ministry did not mention a timeline for the examination or how much it will cost.

Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The had said in June that the project was 99 percent complete and that the contractors were in the process of demonstrating the metro’s safety.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway began 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 estimated cost of $553 million ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.

The metro eventually entered the testing phase in March with all 13 cars taken out on trial runs on both lines. The ministry wanted commercial operations to begin at the end of April, but this deadline too was missed.

When complete, Hanoi’s first metro line will run from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to the Yen Nghia Station in the south-west Ha Dong District.

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