The Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project is scheduled for trial operation in October this year, which will be followed by the official launch at the end of the first quarter of 2018.
The schedule has been officially announced by Nguyen Hong Truong, Deputy Minister of Transport.
Le Kim Thanh, general director of Railway Project Management Unit (PMU), announced that 90 per cent of the project has been completed, including stations, depots, girders, and so on. The unfinished constructions are promptly under work.
At present, the main contractor is purchasing and procuring equipment for the project so that they can begin to set up the equipment by the end of July, 2017. On March 31, the decorations for all stations and depots will be completed; on September 1, the railway will be connected to the grid, and from October 1, the first test run will begin. The test runs will last for three to sixth months, the official commercial launch will be based on the results of these test runs.
Thanh also said that they have closed the purchase of thirteen trains and the first one will be delivered to Vietnam in the next few days. The trains may be adjusted later based on people’s feedbacks.
Nguyen Hong Truong asked China Railway Sixth Group Co., Ltd., the EPC contractor of the project, to prepare funds to pay subcontractors and sign with other subcontractors to implement the remaining work.
At the end of December 2016, the Ministry of Transport requested the Government for permission to adjust the progress of the project and officially launch it in the first quarter of 2018.
Previously, the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project was approved in October 2008 and then adjusted in February 2016. It has a total investment value of VND18.001 trillion ($794.57 million) and was to be officially launched in 2016.
There are many reasons for the delay, mainly originating from the delay of the main contractor in determining equipment price, which affected the progress of entering into an additional loan agreement and bidding to procure equipment.
About the additional loan ($250.62 million), the PMU, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Finance, and China Eximbank are currently negotiating the terms and conditions.