Hanoi's long-delayed sky train set for test run in September, again

By Doan Loan   March 30, 2018 | 04:25 pm PT
Hanoi's long-delayed sky train set for test run in September, again
A train sits in a Cat Linh - Ha Dong railway station in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh
The railway is set to launch after the three to six month testing phase, putting the project another year behind schedule.

Hanoi's first elevated railway line running from Cat Linh to Ha Dong would finally start seeing test runs this September, according to the transport ministry.

The long-delayed railway line's testing phase would accordingly kick off on September 2, after failing to meet last year's plan. The trial is expected to take three to six months, the ministry said in a report to the government.

The test runs will use empty trains and trains carrying simulated passengers to fine-tune the more than 13-kilometer (eight-mile) railway. Authorities would then decide on a launch date for the sky train based on the results of these runs.

Once launched, the project would be warranted for a further two years before being officially considered completed in 2021.

The transport ministry's latest schedule would have the project delayed by 11 months compared to the previous schedule adjustment made in February last year.

Currently 95 percent of the project's construction works have been completed and all 13 imported train cars, as well as 60 percent of imported equipments, have arrived in Vietnam, according to the Chinese contractor. Construction of the stations and train tracks would be completed in March, while works to decorate the depots are scheduled for April and electricity would be supplied to the entire railway in May.

Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway started in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including issues with the Chinese contractor and loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved last December, have been stalling the project for years.

The original cost estimate of $552.86 million has also ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.

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