Hanoi's first metro line to start final 20-day test run

By Doan Loan   November 18, 2020 | 03:17 am PT
Hanoi's first metro line to start final 20-day test run
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line in Hanoi begins a test run for inspection purposes on October 29, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.
Hanoi’s first metro route is scheduled to commence 20-day safety evaluation in early December prior to entering commercial operation next year.

Representatives of Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board (MRB) under the Ministry of Transport said Wednesday the trial run would greatly assist French consultants in evaluating the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line's safety.

When construction completed at the end of 2018, a then test run had proven inconclusive and involved few personnel.

The forthcoming trail run would mobilize about 800 staff members, including 200 employed by the Chinese general contractor.

Based on test run results, in the first quarter of 2021, French consultancy firm Apave-Certifier-Tricc plans to issue a system safety certificate before the transport ministry takes control of the project.

"The general director of the French consultancy has arrived in Vietnam. In the coming days, seven more experts from the firm would visit Vietnam to evaluate the project's safety levels," the board stated.

The French experts had returned home during the Lunar New Year break in late January and have been unable to re-enter Vietnam due to travel restrictions imposed due to Covid-19.

The Chinese general contractor has additionally brought 100 Chinese technical experts to the country.

The ministry hopes to begin operation of the metro by the first quarter next year.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong Metro section runs 13 km from downtown Dong Da District to Yen Nghia in southwestern Ha Dong District. It is one of eight lines planned for Hanoi.

Construction began in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China only resolved in December 2017, stalled proceedings for years.

Its cost has doubled to VND18 trillion ($776.77 million) from the original estimate, with 77 percent drawn from official development assistance (ODA) loans from China.

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