Chinese luxury railroad cars stuck in Vietnam without safety certification

By Anh Duy   November 22, 2023 | 10:00 pm PT
Chinese luxury railroad cars stuck in Vietnam without safety certification
One of the 13 train cars invested by Chinese Wuxi Jinxin Group at a facility of Gia Lam Train JSC in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Xuan Hoa
Thirteen railroad cars built for a Chinese company by two Vietnamese firms have been awaiting vehicle registration certificates for two years and remain unused.

In 2019 Wuxi Jinxin Group contracted the Gia Lam Train JSC and Di An Train JSC belonging to the Vietnam Railway Corporation, the state-owned railroad operator, to build 13 luxury train cars meant to run on a one-meter gauge.

They were completed by the end of 2021 at a cost of VND275 billion.

But despite finishing a test run of 15,000 km all over Vietnam, they remain untouched at a facility belonging to Gia Lam.

Tran Thien Canh, head of the Vietnam Railway Authority (VRA), said the cars could not be used since they had not received an inspection certificate from the Registry Department and a vehicle registration certificate from the VRA.

Then regulations required railroad cars to complete a 100,000-km trial run to test for safety, and since Vietnam only has single railroad tracks, it was expected to take forever to achieve the marathon feat.

But a circular issued by the Ministry of Transport that takes effect from Dec. 21 brings down the requirement to just 5,000 km.

This means the Chinese company could apply for an inspection certificate soon.

The Vietnam Railway Corporation has said it will consider leasing or tying up with Wuxi Jinxin to operate the 13 cars after the inspection and registration are completed.

All of the interiors and equipment for the cars were imported from China.

Of the 13, six are sleeper cars with 28 beds, five are sitting only with 56 seats, and the other two are for a restaurant car and power generation equipment.

Founded 30 years ago Wuxi Jinxin Group mainly supplies railway fittings, interiors and rubber parts for long distance railroad and mass transit.

In 2019 it set up the Jinxin Group Vietnam Railway Equipment Development Co., Ltd.

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