Ho Chi Minh City metro line tests to start this year, operations set for 2021

Ho Chi Minh City metro line
Work is almost finished on Line 1 (red) of the Ho Chi Minh City metro

The Ho Chi Minh City metro line is getting closer to becoming a reality after the Ho Chi Minh City Management Authority of Urban Railways (MAUR) revealed test runs will begin on Line 1 later this year.

In order for that to happen, contractors need to finish some remaining tasks including the installation of roofing and walls at the Long Binh Depot station. This depot will serve as the technical and servicing station for the Ho Chi Minh City metro line.

According Tuoi Tre News, Line 1 will have 17 three-car trains with these already having been built by the Hitachi Company in Japan. The trains are currently undergoing final technical inspections and will be sent to Vietnam after this has been completed.

Once the trains arrive later this year, rolling stock testing will take place on an above-ground section of Line 1 that travels between Binh Thai Intersection and Long Binh Depot in District 9. In addition to testing, more construction is required before commercial service can begin. MAUR estimates that all work and testing should be finished next year.

Line 1 spans 20 kilometers and connects Ben Thanh Terminal in District 1 with Suoi Tien Terminal in District 9. It will have three underground stations and 11 above ground stations.

Ho Chi Minh City metro line powers through to completion

After a series of delays, setbacks and revised plans, the Ho Chi Minh City metro line will soon be up and running. MAUR estimates that commercial service should begin in 2021 although no specific timeline for this to happen has been announced.

The Ho Chi Minh City metro line was originally proposed in 2001, but construction of Line 1 was delayed until 2012 for various reasons. Work on the project has been slower than planned with the opening of the line postponed from 2018 to 2021.

Line 1 is part of an ambitious public transport system plan the features six lines in total. However, work has only started on one Ho Chi Minh City metro line project. Construction of Line 2 was slated to start in 2013 but was pushed back to 2020. Plans are also in place for the four other rail lines with work not likely to start on these until after Line 1 is operational.