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Transport ministry asks Hanoi to close down railway cafés

Saturday, October 05, 2019, 14:52 GMT+7
Transport ministry asks Hanoi to close down railway cafés
Visitors have drinks at cafés next to the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Makeshift cafés established along the railroad in Hanoi’s urban districts, which have become famous photo spots as they allow customers to sit and enjoy coffee just inches from the railway tracks, will be shut down for public and traffic safety.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has asked the People’s Committee of Hanoi and related agencies to quickly clear the railway corridor, which have been encroached on by several coffee businesses, in four districts - Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, and Hai Ba Trung.

These coffee shops open next to the railway, place their furniture and offer drinks right on the safety corridor.

Visitors find these cafés interesting as they love the idea of having to stay alert if any train is coming at them in the middle their sipping a cup of coffee, or witnessing the drink sellers pull their stuff away from the rail tracks with a simple move when a train thunders past.

Besides coffee patrons, visitors also come to this ‘attraction’ for photography as the railway and houses on its sides make a stunning instagrammable background.

Visitors take photos on the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Visitors take photos on the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Visitors take photos on the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Visitors take photos on the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

However, these activities are obviously dangerous and they also threaten safety operation of the trains, as well as violating railway regulations, according to the transport ministry.

“This is really a danger for social security, order and safety,” said Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Ngoc Dong.

The transport ministry has therefore ordered Hanoi authorities to shut down these railway cafés, as well as figuring out solutions to prevent business households from reopening them.

People must also be prohibited from gathering near or on the railway for such purposes as taking photos, filming or drinking coffee.

Local authorities will have to take full responsibilities for letting any railroad encroachment happen, the ministry underlined.

Visitors take photos next to the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre
Visitors take photos next to the railway track in Hai Ba Trung District, Hanoi. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

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