Space aplenty as Hanoi-HCMC train gets back on track

By Giang Huy   June 20, 2021 | 10:00 am GMT+7
There were very few passengers as train SE3 from Hanoi to Saigon resumed service this week after a suspension prompted by the fourth Covid-19 wave in Vietnam.
I travel by train because it is spacious, so I do not have to come into close contact with people amid the pandemic, said Phuong Thanh, a univerisity student in Hanoi.To mandate social distancing, Hanoi Train Station only sells up to 50 percent of seats.Previously, SE3 train, traveling from Hanoi to HCMC, and SE4 train, traveling from HCMC to Hanoi, were halted from June 1-16 due to the resurgent Covid-19 wave in Vietnam. Normally, there would be ten trains running the Hanoi - HCMC route per day, but the pandemic has made the number of daily trains shrink to four, including the SE3 and SE4 trains.

"I travel by train because it is spacious, and I do not have to come into close contact with people amid the pandemic," said Phuong Thanh, a university student in Hanoi.
To mandate social distancing, the Hanoi Train Station only sells a maximum of50 percent of the seats.
The SE3 train, traveling from Hanoi to HCMC, and the SE4 train, traveling from HCMC to Hanoi, were halted June 1-16. Normally, there would be ten trains running the Hanoi - HCMC route per day, but the pandemic has shrunk the number of daily trains to four, including the SE3 and SE4 trains.

Passengers are required to wear masks, mandate social distance, and fill in the health declaration form.On June 18, one day after the trains resume operation, more than 100 people choose to travel by the SE3 train, which can serve up tp 500.

Passengers are required to wear masks, maintain social distance, and fill in a health declaration form. On June 18, a day after the trains resumed operation, more than 100 people choose to travel by the SE3 train, which can serve up to 500.

British traveler Agnaldo Oliveira has his body temperature checked by an employee at the train station. I have always checked news related to trains. Learning they have resumed operation, I bought a ticket on the Internet, said Oliveira, having his business trip to central Quang Binh Province.

British traveler Agnaldo Oliveira has his body temperature checked by an employee at the train station.
"I have always checked news related to trains. Learning they have resumed operation, I bought a ticket on the Internet," said Oliveira, making a business trip to the central province of Quang Binh.

Hanoi Railway Station wears a desolated look.

The Hanoi Railway Station was missing its normal bustle on June 18, 2021.

Returning to their hometown in coastal Binh Thuan Province, Huynh Tan Kiet (third from left) and his friends are willing to pay more around VND300,000 for each to stay in private cabins.It is more expensive, but we are okay because the cabins with private beds are safer, we do not have to come into close contact with a lot of people, Kiet said.

Returning to their hometown in coastal Binh Thuan Province, Huynh Tan Kiet (third from left) and his friends were willing to pay around VND300,000 ($13) extra for each to stay in private cabins.
"It is more expensive, but we are okay because the cabins with private beds are safer, we do not have to come into close contact with a lot of people," Kiet said.

A passenger traveling to northern Hai Phong City wears a mask and a face shield.

A passenger traveling to Hai Phong City wears a mask and a face shield.

My colleagues and I are happy to get back to work, even though the number of passengers is small. I hope the pandemic will be over soon, so we will have more patrons, said Quang Vinh, a worker in the SE3 train.

"My colleagues and I are happy to get back to work, even though the number of passengers is small. I hope the pandemic will be over soon, so we will have more patrons," said Quang Vinh, a staff on the SE3 train.

After a two-week Covid-19 halt, a technician carefully checks the train before departure.

After a two-week Covid-19 caused hiatus, a technician carefully checks the train’s locomotive before its departure.

The SE3 train departs from Hanoi at 7:15 p.m. daily, and the SE4 train departs from HCMC at 7:25 p.m. daily. The Vietnam Railways Corporation advised its patrons to check Covid-19 rules of their destinations before buying tickets, as many localities required those coming from Covid-19 hotspot to be in quarantine. As of Sunday morning, the new Covid-19 wave, resurfacing on April 27, has hit 41 localities in the country.

The SE3 train departs from Hanoi at 7.15 p.m. daily, and the SE4 train departs from HCMC at 7.25 p.m. daily. The Vietnam Railways Corporation has advised its patrons to check Covid-19 rules at their destinations before buying tickets, as many localities require those coming from Covid-19 hotspot to be in quarantine on arrival.
As of Sunday morning, the new Covid-19 wave that started April 27 had reached 41of 63 localities in the country.

 
 
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