HCM CITY(Vietnam News/Asia News Network): HCM City’s much-anticipated first metro line saw its first test run on nine kilometres of elevated track between Suoi Tien Station and Bình Thai Station on Wednesday (Dec 21).
The trial was run by Japanese contractor Hitachi, according to the city’s Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR).
Kazuhiko Nagasawa, Project Manager of Hitachi Company, described the event as an important milestone in starting the test operations of the train with mechanical and electrical systems on the line.
In 2023, Hitachi, together with subcontractors, will mobilise all resources to continue the installation and testing of all the systems in the depot, viaduct and tunnel areas, he said, adding it is committed to making every effort to complete the project.
Nguyen Quec Hien, MAUR’s deputy head, said that in 2023, it will work with NJPT consultants and contractors to accelerate the project implementation, complete the construction, and move to the commercial operation.
The elevated section is designed for trains to run at a speed of 110 kilometres per hour, but during the test run the train ran at a speed of 40kph.
All 17 trains have 147 seats and a capacity of 930 passengers. They can run at speeds of up to 80km underground.
All the trains have been tested at Long Bình depot in Thu Duc City since August this year.
The metro line is expected to be tested on the entire 19.7-km route between Ben Thanh Market in District 1 and Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City next year, according to MAUR.
After 10 years of construction, around 93 per cent of the metro line, including three underground and 11 elevated stations, has been completed.
The project was initially scheduled for completion in late 2021 to run commercially in 2022. However, it has been delayed several times due to the pandemic and procedural problems.
With an expected investment of more than VNĐ43.7 trillion (US$1.89 billion), the metro line is funded by Japanese overseas development assistance and Vietnamese counterpart funds.