Operational staff for Hanoi’s first metro line have been trained, but it’s opening date remains up in the air.
86 of them are in the driving department, with 46 main drivers. The rest are substitute drivers and technicians.
All drivers have been trained and have practiced in Beijing, China for a year. Their experience ranges from driving 5,000-20,000 kilometers.
„To prepare for the commercial operation, we have done both practical training and simulator training, including dealing with unexpected events,“ said driver Tran Thanh Long.
Over 500 people will work in the operating center to manage trains, maintain infrastructure, distribute tickets and discharge other responsibilities.
Over this and next month, they will run drills for emergency evacuation, handling a large number of passengers and dealing with malfunctioning trains.
The Vietnamese staff have been trained by Chinese experts.
A representative of the contractor said that „most Vietnamese staff have met training standards and can operate the metro line immediately.“
But it is still unclear when the metro will start its commercial operations. The city’s long delayed Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro route missed last month’s deadline for commercial operation since construction was still not complete.
Another reason was that the Chinese contractor, China Railway Sixth Group Co., Ltd, has not submitted necessary documents to authorities for a final inspection, a source said then.
Work on the metro started in October 2011 and was originally scheduled for completion in 2013. But several hurdles, including loan disbursement issues with China that were only resolved in December 2017, stalled it for years.
The original estimated cost of $553 million ballooned to more than $868 million, including $670 million in loans from China.
When completed, Hanoi’s first metro line will run from Cat Linh Station in downtown Dong Da District to the Yen Nghia Station in the south-west Ha Dong District.