Numerous delays have plagued Hanoi’s first metro line since the start of the project, will this time be any different?
Late last week, many local news outlets broke the bad news that Hanoians may have to wait until 2021 to christen the capital’s first-ever metro line. Tuoi Tre shared that instead of the first quarter of this year, the trial run of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong Line will be postponed to the end of this year. Additionally, construction will only finish in 2021.
This info, however, appears to be incorrect, according to the train project’s management team. When queried about the 2021 delay last week, the Hanoi Metro’s official Twitter account told Saigoneer that it was “fake news.”
“Recently some traditional and social media have reported that #metro line 2A Cat Linh – Ha Dong will be delayed again until 2021,” the account wrote in a tweet two days ago. “This is not true! The test-ride will start in Q3 2018 for 3 to 6 months.”
Vu Hong Phuong, deputy director of the project’s management board under the Ministry of Transport, told Bao Chinh Phu – the official outlet of the Vietnamese government – that the trial run will start on September 2 this year and continue for three to six months. If the tests go well, the line may be operational by the end of the year.
Phuong added that the 2021 reference in previous news reports could have come from a recent progress report stating that the project will finish in 2021. However, this timeline refers to the completion of the line’s warranty period established by its Chinese contractor. Other administrative and payment-related tasks during the post-construction phase will also be carried out during this period.
Tuoi Tre reports in a separate article that since the start of construction, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong project has been delayed five times, mostly due to lack of financial resources and slow fund reimbursement.
In February 2017, it was announced that trial runs would begin in October of that year and that trains would be up and running by the first quarter of 2018. However, we all know how that turned out.
As the line was Vietnam’s first foray into metro construction when work began, progress has been marred by issues and scandals from the beginning. Apart from the aforementioned delays, the metro line also made news in the past due to accidents and ill-maintained tracks.