Hanoi to take over metro operation in May

By Doan Loan   March 31, 2021 | 06:06 pm PT
Hanoi to take over metro operation in May
Conductors make hand signals during a test run on the Cat Linh - Ha Dong Metro Section in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.
Hanoi’s first metro line Cat Linh – Ha Dong is set to be handed over to city authorities in May for commercial operation.

The company that built it, China Railway Sixth Group Co Ltd., on Wednesday began the process of handing over the Cat Linh – Ha Dong Metro Line to local authorities.

The handover will take three to four weeks.

Deputy Transport Minister Nguyen Ngoc Dong told reporters Wednesday that since January, Hanoi authorities have been working to finish the last details of the project, like setting up signs for disabled passengers, installing a device to prevent the conductor from falling asleep and adding more staff at each station to supervise and assist passengers embark and disembark.

Each train on the route will be capable of carrying 960 passengers. A one-way trip will take 23 minutes, including a 30-second stop at each station.

There will be a train every 10-15 minutes in the initial period, with higher frequency during rush hours.

The Cat Linh – Ha Dong Metro Section is set to be the first such project to operate in Vietnam. It runs 13 kilometers on elevated tracks through 12 stations from downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia in Ha Dong District in the southwestern part of the city.

The project has been delayed for years and missed several commercial operation deadlines with the Ministry of Transport blaming the Chinese contractor for its inexperience.

Last year, its safety evaluation was delayed several times because the Chinese and French experts who had returned home late January and were unable to return to Vietnam since international flights were grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The section, one of eight lines planned in the city of 8.3 million, is expected to partly resolve chronic traffic congestion and motivate more residents to use public transportation.

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