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Feb 12, 2020 / 00:38

nCoV delays trial run of Hanoi’s first metro line

The trial operation of Hanoi’s first metro line has to be carried out by Chinese experts who have not come back from the Lunar New Year holiday.

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line, the first of its kind in Hanoi, will postpone its commercial test run due to the nCoV pneumonia epidemic, VnExpress reported.

On February 10, a manager of the Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Board (MRB) under the Ministry of Transport informed that under the plan, from February 1, the Cat Linh - Ha Dong metro line will test the entire system in 20 days to evaluate its safety and complete the project.


A train runs on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong metro line in Hanoi. Photo: Giang Huy

However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, more than 100 Chinese experts have not returned to Vietnam, making commissioning work impossible.

"The trial operation has to be carried out by Chinese experts so we have to postpone the trial until they come back," said the MRB’s manager.

Until now, train drivers and staff participating in the trial run of Cat Linh - Ha Dong route have been granted driver's licenses and professional certificates for 20 days. The Vietnamese staff trained at the project are also ready to take part in the commissioning.

In this process, the Chinese general contractor is responsible for evaluating the proficiency of the personnel as well as their ability to respond to emergencies according to the test.

The MBR is reviewing the documents, conducting field inspections to evaluate each item of the project and verify the detailed outline of the system's test.

The Cat Linh – Ha Dong railway, which covers around 13 km, running between Cat Linh street in Dong Da district in Hanoi downtown and Yen Nghia bus station in Ha Dong district, is one of the key public transport projects in Hanoi.

Work on the line began in October 2011 and was originally planned for completion in 2013.

The line serves 12 stations and a depot at Phu Luong ward in Ha Dong district and has a rolling stock of 13 trains at a frequency of two minutes. Each train, running at speeds of between 35 and 80 km per hour, consists of four carriages and can accommodate up to 1,000 passengers.

The construction has been financed by official development assistance from China with a total investment of US$868 million after several cost overruns.