|A train of the Cát Linh-Hà Đông Urban Elevated Railway Project.— VNA/VNS Photo Việt Hùng|
HÀ NỘI — The Cát Linh-Hà Đông urban elevated railway, Hà Nội’s first metro project, will be certified as safe for operation soon, according to a representative of the Railway Project Management Unit under the Ministry of Transport (MoT).
The representative said most of the project’s items were eligible to be reported to the State Council for Pre-Acceptance Test for Construction Works, except for official registration certificates for the trains.
Earlier, the Vietnam Register (VR) had issued temporary registration certificates for the trains for running a trial operation for the whole system.
The State quality control agency said the assessment of the trains’ quality commenced in September 2018 and the inspection has been completed.
The official ones will be issued when the trial operation ends and if the system is deemed safe.
The project was due to start a 20-day trial run on February 1 for inspection purposes. However, over 100 Chinese experts could not return to Việt Nam following China's lockdown order to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak, resulting in a delay to the trial.
The representative said only four experts had been admitted to Việt Nam on official visas. Of these, one had completed quarantine while three others had to work remotely.
The MoT has invited a French consulting firm Apave-Certifier-Tricc consortium (ACT) to evaluate the safety of the railway system.
The firm has so far completed 12 out of 13 assessments of the project.
In the coming days, the consulting firm would work with Chinese contractor China Railway No 6 Group and related agencies to verify system safety. In case the equipment does not meet the requirements, the consulting firm will request a replacement.
Commercial runs of the project will begin after the VR granted registration certificates for the trains and consultants certified the safety of the project.
The 13.5km-long railway line, from Cát Linh in Ba Đình district to the suburban district of Hà Đông, cost approximately US$868 million, of which two-thirds were loans from China.
Construction officially began in 2011 and was initially planned to be completed in 2014, until several delays dragged the project to a yet unknown date of completion.
The elevated railway has been running trials since September 2018.
The train will run at a maximum speed of 80km per hour, the average speed of operation is 35km per hour, with trains running every few minutes.
The People's Committee of Hà Nội has also announced the lowest one-way ticket price for the railway line is VNĐ8,000 (35 US cents); daily ticket is VNĐ30,000 ($1.3) and monthly ticket is VNĐ200,000 ($8.6). — VNS