Saigon metro to test run in Q3

By Huu Nguyen   February 19, 2020 | 06:06 am PT
Saigon metro to test run in Q3
An artist's impression of the Saigon metro train. Photo courtesy of MAUR.
An elevated section of Ho Chi Minh City's Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Line 1 will be tested out within the third quarter this year.

This elevated section crosses Ho Chi Minh City’s District 9, spanning from central Binh Thai Station to Long Binh Depot, a train maintenance center, the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) said in a report to the city’s People’s Committee.

Once testing is complete, MAUR said it would test another section between Binh Thai and Van Thanh stations in District 2.

The city targets project completion to advance to 85 percent before the end of this year, to officially enter operation by the end of 2021, it was added.

The first locomotives and trains for the line, produced by Japanese manufacturer Hitachi, are set to arrive in HCMC from Japan in June.

Hitachi is currently testing out two trains to deliver first, then will send over another 15, all of which will have three carriages each, as Metro Line 1 is being completed, the MAUR said.

All 17 trains are part of a $370 million package signed with Hitachi in 2003, which includes delivery of other equipment such as signaling and communication, electricity generation, and electronic fee collection systems.

On Monday, the city removed a barrier between the metro line’s two underground segments, integrating the entire length of Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Line 1. Removal of the barrier, erected to facilitate construction of both segments, paves the way for the next phase of the project - equipment installation, officials said.

When completed, HCMC's Metro Line 1 will span 19.7 kilometers from Long Binh in District 9 to Ben Thanh in District 1 with a total of 14 stations.

Work on the line started in August 2012, with the elevated segment cleared in June 2018.

It was approved in 2007 with a total investment of VND17.4 trillion ($747 million). This was raised to VND47 trillion ($2.02 billion) in 2010 after design changes and fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Japanese Yen, though the increase was not approved by relevant ministries.

Last November, National Assembly allowed HCMC authorities to approve a new total investment of VND43.6 trillion ($1.87 billion).

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