The project investor, HCMC Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), said Thursday that the two three-car trains would be shipped from Japan’s railway system factory Kasado Works on May 1 and reach HCMC in nine days.
Three to four days later, the trains would be delivered to the Long Binh Depot in Thu Duc City.
Two of the four six-car trains would be shipped by June and the remaining two by July. The exact delivery dates may change due to variables like weather conditions or congestion at the port, the investor said.
After the trains are delivered to the Long Binh Depot, Japanese contractor Hitachi would install five of them on the T1 railway, while the sixth one will be installed on a different track, the MAUR said, without elaborating.
The first three-car train arrived in HCMC last October and has been installed on the T1 railway.
As originally planned, trial runs for the trains should begin in this year’s fourth quarter. Within the same time frame, other tasks like operations, personnel training and technology transfer would also be in progress.
Hoang Mai Tung, coordinating engineer for the Metro Line 1 project, said train operations in the future would be handled automatically with a communications-based train control (CBTC) system. The system would help locate the exact location of the trains better than traditional signal systems, he said. It would automatically adjust the trains’ speed, opening and closing doors, as well as the amount of time trains stop at stations.
“This technology will help manage and operate the metro line more effectively and safely than several other methods. However, in the first years of operation, the trains should still have a driver to respond to various situations in order to maintain safety at the highest level,” Tung said.
HCMC’s first metro line, running from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to the Suoi Tien theme park in Thu Duc, will have a total of 17 trains, starting with three-car trains before moving onto the six-car ones. Each three-car train would be 61.5 meters long with a capacity of 930 passengers. The trains are expected to run at an average speed of 40 kph.
The first metro line has a total investment cost of over VND43.7 trillion ($1.89 billion). It runs nearly 20 km with three underground and 11 elevated stations. The project is 83 percent complete, and is expected to be launched next year.