|A technician checks the rail line in Hà Nội Railway Station on Tuesday before the north-south train route is resumed Wednesday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Đạt|
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam Railway Corporation (VNR) has announced the resumption of the north-south and Hà Nội-Hải Phòng train route starting Wednesday after months of suspension, as part of the pilot reopening period between October 13-20.
On the north-south route, the pair of passenger trains SE7/SE8 will resume services, with ticket sales opening this morning. The SE8 train will depart from Sài Gòn Railway Station at 6am on Wednesday (October 13), while the SE7 will depart from Hà Nội Railway Station at 6am of Friday (October 15).
SE7/8 will pick up and drop off passengers at 23 stations along its way – Hà Nội, Phủ Lý, Nam Định, Nình Bình, Bỉm Sơn, Thanh Hóa, Vinh, Yên Trung, Hương Phố, Đồng Hới, Đông Hà, Huế, Đà Nẵng, Tam Kỳ, Quảng Ngãi, Diêu Trì, Tuy Hòa, Nha Trang, Tháp Chàm, Bình Thuận, Biên Hòa, Dĩ An, and Sài Gòn.
However, after 80 per cent of the tickets (about 480 tickets) were sold as of noon today, another pair SE5/6 has been put into service, with the SE5 departing from Hà Nội at 3:20pm on Wednesday and the SE6 departing from HCM City at 3:20pm on Friday.
On the Hà Nội-Hải Phòng route, pair of trains LP5/6 will run on a daily basis starting Wednesday, with the LP5 departing from Long Biên Station in Hà Nội on 3:30pm on weekdays or 3:20pm from Hà Nội Station on Saturday and Sunday and the LP6 train departing from Hải Phòng City at 9:05am every day.
The trains will pick up and drop off passengers at seven stations – Hà Nội, Long Biên, Gia Lâm, Cẩm Giàng, Hải Dương, Phú Thái and Hải Phòng.
Social distancing rules will be enforced. Carriages will be disinfected after dropping passengers or before use.
All staff – at the station or on board the trains – have to be fully vaccinated and routinely tested for COVID-19.
Similarly, passengers are required to be inoculated with double doses of COVID-19 vaccines (either with physical proof, or certificates on the PC-Covid app), and valid negative SARS-CoV-2 tests. They would be subject to temperature tests and mandatory health declarations.
Phạm Thị Anh Đào, head of Hà Nội’s rail transport, said that on the first day of reopening ticket sales, the procedures this morning went smoothly with pandemic control in mind.
People can buy tickets via multiple channels – directly at the station, through the official website, from the mobile wallet apps like Momo or Viettel Pay, or via the station’s hotline 1900109.
Quốc Đại, lives in Nha Trang City of Khánh Hoà Province, but has been stranded in Hà Nội for months due to lockdown. He immediately went to the station to buy a ticket back home once he heard the news of resumption yesterday.
Both main stations at HCM City and Hà Nội were quite quiet on the ticket sale day.
After the end of the pilot phase, VNR will conduct an assessment, and at the same time prepare for the full resumption of passenger trains to meet travel demand.
Along with current piloting passenger trains, VNR is still continuing to carry out specialised train trips to transport people from COVID-19 hit HCM City and other southern provinces back to their hometowns.
As of October 11, VNR has successfully organised 11 such trips to bring nearly 6,000 passengers who are citizens of Hà Tĩnh, Quảng Trị, Thừa Thiên Huế, Yên Bái, Ninh Bình, and Quảng Bình provinces safely home. — VNS