On December 22, a train on metro line No. 1 in Ho Chi Minh City successfully completed a test run, marking an important milestone for the first metro project in the southern economic powerhouse of Vietnam. The experimental run, the first of its kind thus far, was carried out with a three-car train that covered a nine-kilometer journey from Suoi Tien Coach Station to Binh Thai Station in Thu Duc City, a neighborhood of Ho Chi Minh City that is served by the elevated portion of the metro line. During the test run, it went via Thu Duc Station, Hi-Tech Zone Station, and Vietnam National University in Ho Chi Minh City.
The line consists of 17 trains with a combined total of 51 carriages that were made in Japan. The train’s top speed above ground is 110 kph, and its underground speed is 80 kph. With 147 seats and the room for about 783 people standing, each metro train which is 61.5 meter long can hold roughly 930 passengers. All the trains have successfully completed the tests at Long Binh Depot since August. Hitachi’s project manager for the metro line, Kazuhiko Nagasawa, stated that Hitachi and its subcontractors are getting ready to mobilize their resources in order to continue installing and testing the systems for the metro line.
55 year old Trinh Ngoc Tu, who was there at the project’s launching ten years ago, expressed his hope that the metro line will open soon in order to reduce traffic in the city’s gateway region and help modernize the public transportation system. With a total investment of VND43,700 billion, the first of the city’s eight planned urban railway projects- the metro line No. 1- started construction in August 2012. According to The Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the majority of this money came from Japan’s official development assistance support.
The train travels through three underground stations and eleven stops above the ground to get from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City.
Next year, the full path of the metro line’s trains will be tested, according to MAUR.
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