Authorities are trialing stations and other facilities to prepare for the commercial launch of Hanoi’s first ever metro line next month.
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated trains are being tested every day for system tuning. They run at an average speed of 35 kilometers an hour.
The trains operate automatically. The conductor is in charge of opening and closing the doors and handling unexpected incidents.
There are 12 automatic entry gates installed at each station. Customers swipe their tickets to enter or exit.
Each station has two ticket vending machines. Metro officials say they operate with high precision and speed. Customers can also buy their tickets from a staff at the booth.
The electricity room uses dry-type transformers, which do not require oil, silicone or any other liquid to cool the electrical core. Metro officials said this is the first time that this type of transformers is being used in Vietnam.
At some stations, roofs are being installed to cover the escalators and stairs.
The cement holding the pillars supporting the escalator’s roofs have cracked in some places and will be reinforced before the metro line begins operations.
Contractors have been asked to replace some glass panels that have broken or cracked during construction.
The command center for the metro line is located in the Ha Dong Depot, 16 kilometers southwest of downtown Hanoi. Each shift will have at least three employees on duty, metro officials have said.
13 trains are ready to serve customers. The project is now 99 percent complete.
Hanoi’s first metro line will run from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to the Yen Nghia Station in the south-west Ha Dong District.
Individual commuters can buy monthly season tickets for VND200,000 ($8.61) or daily tickets for VND30,000 ($1.29), both allowing unlimited trips. Single trips will cost VND7,000-15,000 ($0.3-0.65) per person depending on the distance travelled.
Work on the Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway began in 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it for years.
The original estimated cost of $552.86 million also ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.