September 15, 2019 | 03:40 pm GMT+7
Saigon’s new Binh Loi Bridge, constructed to replace its 117-year old namesake, underwent its first train test run.
The train makes its test run across newly constructed Binh Loi Bridge, September 14, 2019. Photo by Huu Khoa/VnExpress.
On Saturday, a test train departed Binh Trieu station in Thu Duc district and crossed Ho Chi Minh City’s newly constructed Binh Loi Bridge, then proceeded to circle around for technical inspection. It was the first train to have crossed this bridge.
The new Binh Loi railway bridge is 1.3 kilometers long. It has 14 spans, seven meters above the water compared to the old bridge’s 1.8 meters, allowing heavier vehicles and boats to go under the bridge over the Saigon River.
“The load test has been successful. Operators will continue to monitor for all technical issues to ensure that that the North-South railway runs smoothly,” said Hoang Tuan Khoat, Deputy Director of Project Management Board 7 of the Ministry of Transport.
The new Binh Loi railway bridge is 1.3 kilometers long. Photo by Huu Khoa/VnExpress.
The new Binh Loi railway bridge is part of Vietnam’s North-South railway, which runs over 1,726 kilometers between Hanoi and Saigon, the country’s two biggest cities.
HCMC and its industrial neighbor Binh Duong Province joined hands in 2015 to build the new bridge to replace the old one which was in dilapidated condition and danger of collapse.
The new bridge is part of a VND1.3 trillion ($55.7 million) project that includes dredging a 70km (43 miles) section of the Saigon River from Binh Loi Bridge to Ben Suc Port in Binh Duong.
Stretching 276 meters with six spans, Binh Loi was the first bridge to cross the Saigon River and part of the initial phase of the Saigon-Nha Trang railway line. It was built in 1902 by Levallois-Perret, a construction company formed out of the former Maison Eiffel which was founded by the legendary engineer Gustave Eiffel.