THE seventh and eight metro trains for Ho Chi Minh City are set to arrive in Vietnam next week as Ho Chi Minh City Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR) gears up to open the city’s first metro line in early 2022.

Hitachi is delivery 17 three-car trains under a Yen 37bn ($US 340m) contract signed in June 2013. The first of the 1.5kv dc sets was delivered in October 2020. The Japanese supplier is also providing electrical and mechanical works for the project as well as signalling and telecommunications, platform screen doors, automatic fare collection, track works and depot facilities at the 21-hectare site at Long Binh.

According to local media reports, construction on the 19.7km Line 1 between Ben Thanh Market and Suoi Tien Theme Park is 86% complete after construction began as long ago as 2012. Sumitomo and Cienco 6, Vietnam, are responsible for the 17.1km elevated section under a contract awarded in August 2012. The remaining 2.6km runs underground. The line will have 11 elevated and three underground stations.

Each train will have capacity for 930 passengers and will have a maximum speed of 110km/h above ground and 80km/h in tunnel. Trials on the full line are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021 with partial trials underway since the delivery of the first train.

The line was expected to open in 2021, but this has been pushed back to 2022 due to Covid-19 related delays. The Japanese government is financing 88% of the project.

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