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Quality a priority for HCM City's first metro line

Update: April, 17/2015 - 08:03
Metro Line 1's 14 stations span nearly 20km of track, 2.6km of which will be underground. The project will take over US$2 billion to construct. — File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — Quality is to be top priority for the ongoing construction of the Urban Railway Line 1 connecting Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien Theme Park, Secretary of HCM City's Party Committee Le Thanh Hai said.

Hai made the remark at a meeting in HCM City on Tuesday with Yoichi Miyamoto, Chairman of Shimizu Corporation, which is in charge of constructing the line.

He praised the firm's efforts in reducing pollution and noise, ensuring workplace safety and staying on schedule.

He pointed to the company's recent construction work in front of the City's Opera House as an example. The city, he said, will be able to complete the upgrade of Nguyen Hue Street in time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Southern Liberation and National Reunification.

He pledged to support the Japanese firm tackle difficulties that arise in future projects.

Miyamoto, in turn, expressed hope that the firm will be able to carry out projects not only in HCM City but across Viet Nam.

Metro Line 1's 14 stations span nearly 20km of track, 2.6km of which will be underground. The project will take over US$2 billion to construct.

Metro mock-up

Designs for HCM City's first metro car are moving forward after a recent two-week feedback viewing. The Japanese contractor, Hitachi, delivered a mock-up of the metro cabin earlier this month and it has been on display at a depot on Road 11, Long Binh Ward, District 9 for 350 participants who offered feedback to the city Urban Railway Management Board.

According to 285 feedback forms, 122 rated the trial model as "good", 115 as "fairly good," 30 as "medium" and nine felt it was "bad."

Most of the opinions, however, were favourable towards the colour and shape of passenger seats, the board said.

In an attempt to answer some of the criticisms about the shape of the cabin, Bui Xuan Cuong, head of the Urban Railway Management Board, explained that the display was only for the urban metro train, not the express train. The lack of aerodynamism in the cabin design was sacrificed to provide the driver with better vision, Cuong said.

However, the cabin appearance would be adjusted to make it more beautiful, he added.

He also said that his agency would invite scientists and experts to comment on and give recommendations for the mock-up.

The board will evaluate the public and specialists' opinions and submit a modification report to the city People's Committee for consideration before having Hitachi build a final bid design.

The mock-up is part of Hitachi's bid for the metro Line 1 project, which includes providing electromechanical equipment, the cabin and wagons, the metro rail and maintenance work worth 39.4 billion Japanese yen (US$328 million).

The project broke ground in August 2012, is slated for completion in 2019 and will go into operation in 2020.

Initial daily ridership is predicted at 186,000 passengers, rising to 620,000 by 2020 and one million a day by 2040. Trains will run at up to 110 km/h on elevated sections and 80km/h underground with headways of around five to six minutes. — VNS

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