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Metro Line 1 Back On Schedule, is Expected to Operate In 2022

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

Metro line 1 (Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien) will be tested before officially going into operation in 2022.

HCMC has begun electrifying local Metro line 1 to prepare for trial operation after basic construction.

Started on the 19th of February, it is expected to last until the year-end to connect the entire line to the power grid, including two major stations at the Binh Thai intersection of Thu Duc City and the Tan Cang Port area in Binh Thanh District.

According to the Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the overhead section from Binh Thai intersection to Long Binh depot, will be tested by quarter fourth of 2021. This test run is to prepare for the whole line operation and proceed to commercial operation in 2022. During this time, the investor is responsible for everything required for the operation, training, technology transfer, testing, and handover.

Metro Line 1 is the first urban railway project in Ho Chi Minh City with a total investment of 43,700 billion VND. The entire route is nearly 19.7km long, of which 2.6km is underground, the rest is overhead. From Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in District, it will feature 17 Japanese-made trains, including 14 stations, three underground, and eleven on the surface.

Previously, Ho Chi Minh City expected this project to be put into operation by the end of 2021. According to Maur's task performance report in 2020 and plans for 2021, Metro 1 reached about 82% of the workload of the whole project (compared to the annual plan of 85%) by the end of 2020. Due to the complicated situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vietnam government suspended all international flights since March of 2020, making it impossible for foreign experts to enter the country and import project construction materials. For instance, the first metro train was not imported until October 2020 (6 months behind schedule).

Huynh Hong Thanh, deputy head of project investor MAUR, said powering the line marks a significant transition from infrastructure construction to trial operation.

Jason Frasor, a project manager representing Japanese contractor Hitachi, said they would also install electromechanical equipment for the entire metro system within this year.

From now until the year-end, shipping of remaining trains would also be completed.

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