Inside the maintenance depot of Saigon's first metro line

By Quynh Tran   April 19, 2020 | 02:24 pm GMT+7

The Long Binh Depot in District 9 for Saigon’s first metro line between Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien is around 82 percent complete.

The Long Binh Depot of the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien Metro Line 1, located in District 9, was built in 2012 and spans 20 hectares. The depot is a control and maintenance center for the trains of Metro Line 1 until 2040. It is equipped with maintenance buildings, tracks, electrical systems and offices, among others.The Depot, which aims to reach a 90 percent completion rate within this year, is now ready to receive the Metro Line 1s trains from Japan in Q2. Locomotives and trains for the line are produced by Japanese manufacturer Hitachi.

The 20-hectare depot will serve as a control center and maintenance yard for trains on Metro Line 1 until 2040. The facility, to be 90 percent completed this year, is ready to receive locomotives and coaches from Japan in the second quarter. They are being built by Hitachi.

The trains parking space has 30 lanes, with each lane having its own water drainage trench running parallel to it. Roofs have been built so the trains would not be affected by weather conditions when undergoing maintenance.

There are tracks to park 30 trains, each with a water drainage trench. There are covered yards so that the trains will not be affected by the weather while undergoing maintenance.

The main workshop, which spans 4,000 m2, has basically been completed. It is where the trains undergo maintenance.

The main workshop, which spans 4,000 m2, is almost ready.

The workshop is equipped with frames to install necessary machinaries for train maintenance and reparation. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the importing of some equipment from Italy and Germany are now temporarily suspended.

It has been equipped with frames to install equipment for maintenance and repairs. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, import of the equipment from Italy and Germany has been delayed.

Multiple railways are situated on the workshops floor so trains could enter the workshop. Each railway, which spans around 1.43 m and is 1.5 m deep, is spacious enough for workers to climb down and fix the trains from below.

Several trenches with tracks, 1.5 m deep, have been built, and they are wide enough for workers to climb down and work under the subway cars.

The train cleaning area is situated next to the workshop. The areas frames and waterways have now been completed.

The train cleaning yard is next to the workshop, and has been completed.

The wheel lathing are is also situated next to the workshop. It is where the trains wheels are repaired.

The wheel lathing yard is also next to the workshop. It is where the trains' wheels will be repaired.

The control center building operates the entire metro line. It comes equipped with multiple function departments. Internal roads within the depot have also been basically completed.

The control center for the entire line.

Internal roads within the depot have also been more or less completed.

The tracks in the depot are made of steel and are tougher than normal tracks, so they could serve heavy, high-speed trains that move constantly.

The tracks in the depot are tougher than normal since they will constantly serve high-speed trains.

The depots main electrical substation is in the process of being completed. The tracks, roofs, electrical systems in some buildings and some other installations would be completed in the future to prepare for the trains reception in Q2, according to the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR).

The depot's main electrical substation is in the process of being completed. Tracks, roofs, electrical systems in some buildings, and some other installations will be completed soon to prepare for receiving the trains, according to the HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR).

A worker spreads out stones to build water drainage trenches inside the trains parking space. Over 50 workers currently work inside the depot.Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, foreign experts of project involving the trains and equipment of the metro line have not bene allowed to enter Vietnam.

A worker builds a water drainage trench inside a yard.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, foreign experts who will work on the equipment have not been allowed to enter Vietnam.

An illustration of the Long Binh Depot. Photo courtesy of MAUR.The first two trains of the line have yet to be delivered to Vietnam from Japan due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, said Bui Xuan Cuong, director of MAUR. An elevated section, spanning from central Binh Thai Station to Long Binh Depot, is expected to test run in Q3 however, he added.The Metro Line 1, which spans 20 km, in which 2.6 km are underground, has a total investment of VND46.3 trillion ($1.98 billion). It has 14 stations, three of which are underground, spanning from the Long Binh Depot in District 9 to Ben Thanh in District 1.Saigon aims for the metro line to reach an 85 percent completion rate this year so it could run by the end of next year. The project is currently 75 percent complete.

An illustration of the Long Binh Depot. Photo courtesy of MAUR.

The delivery of the first two trains from Japan have been delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bui Xuan Cuong, director of MAUR, said. The elevated section from Binh Thai Station to the depot would have a test run in the third quarter, he added.

The Metro Line 1 will run 20 km, 2.6 km of it underground, and cost VND46.3 trillion ($1.98 billion). It will have 14 stations, three of them underground. The target is to complete 85 percent of the work this year so that it can begin commercial operations by the end of next year. It is currently 75 percent complete.

 
 
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