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Six months after test run, Hanoi’s urban rail line remains a construction mess

Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 14:39 GMT+7
Six months after test run, Hanoi’s urban rail line remains a construction mess
The foot of a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi becomes a makeshift garbage dump for locals. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

The Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line, the first of its kind in Hanoi, is still a big mess of construction six months after operating its first test run in September 2018, with the system's official launch date still undecided.

The railway line stretches 13.1 kilometers between Cat Linh Station in Dong Da District and Yen Nghia Station in Ha Dong District.

Its construction commenced in October 2011 at an initially approved cost of US$552.86 million, partially funded by China’s official development assistance (ODA).

In early 2014, the project’s investment was raised to $868.04 million, forcing Vietnam to take an additional ODA loan of $250.62 million from China.

The project missed its commercial launch on December 2016, and the Vietnamese transport ministry in December 2017 requested a further delay to the first quarter of 2018 due to setbacks during its construction.

The launch was delayed again in March 2018 to an unspecified new date in 2021.

An aerial photo of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An aerial photo of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

The line entered its first test run in September 2018, with officials saying at the time that construction would wrap up in the fourth quarter of that year.

However, work is still ongoing as of March 2019, with some sites showing no sign of finishing any time soon.

Vu Hong Phuong, vice-director of the Management Authority of Urban Railways under the Ministry of Transport, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that progress on some components of the Hanoi rail line has been sluggish in the past months.

While more than 90 percent of the work on the Cat Linh – Ha Dong rail line has been finished, there is still more to be done regarding the interior of rail stations, such as the installation of sanitary and fire safety equipment, pumping, decorations, lighting and ventilation, Phuong said.

An escalator at the Van Quan Station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi remains unroofed as of March 2019. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

An escalator at Van Quan Station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi remains unroofed as of March 2019. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

No workers are seen at an unfinished station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi on a day in March 2019. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

No workers are seen at an unfinished station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi in March 2019. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker installs the roofing at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker installs the roof at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Signs of deterioration appear at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Signs of deterioration appear at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

An unsightly view at a construction site for the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

An unsightly view at a construction site for the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

The foot of a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi becomes a makeshift garbage dump for locals. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

The foot of a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi becomes a makeshift garbage dump for locals. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

A dog is chained to the handrail at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A dog is chained to the handrail of a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers install the roofing at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

Workers install the roof at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Thuong / Tuoi Tre

A worker cleans the glasses at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

A worker cleans the glasses at a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

A written ‘no entry’ sign is placed on the stairs of a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

A written ‘no entry’ sign is placed on the steps of a station of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Kha / Tuoi Tre

An aerial photo of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

An aerial photo of the Cat Linh – Ha Dong urban railway line in Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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