Hanoi metro trial run postponed on Chinese experts’ inability to return

By Anh Duy   February 10, 2020 | 08:43 pm PT
Hanoi metro trial run postponed on Chinese experts’ inability to return
A conductor operates a train on the Cat Linh - Ha Dong Metro Line in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
A 20-day trial run on Hanoi’s first metro line has been put off since Chinese experts working on it are stuck in their country amid the new coronavirus epidemic.

The Cat Linh – Ha Dong route was scheduled to have safety inspections starting on February 1, but they have been postponed indefinitely since more than 100 Chinese experts have been unable to return to Vietnam after the Lunar New Year holiday due to the nCoV epidemic, according to the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB).

The trial run would begin once they arrive, an MRB spokesperson said.

Vietnamese conductors and staff have completed their training and the trial run was meant for the Chinese contractor to evaluate their capability to operate the metro and deal with emergencies.

The metro line, the country’s first, runs 13 kilometers from Cat Linh in downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia in Ha Dong District.

Work on it began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013, but loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017 and other issues stalled it for years.

Construction was completed in December last year.

The original estimated cost of $552.86 million ballooned to more than $868 million.

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