Chinese and Vietnamese connectivity has been steadily improved through China's Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam's "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plans. And now the cooperation is reaching a higher level, with the first urban rail in Vietnam expected to be operational soon.
The 13.5 kilometer long Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban rail route was constructed by the sixth bureau of China Railway Engineering Corporation, costing more than 800 million US dollars.
Zhang Liang, chief engineer of the project told CGTN the project is perfect mix of bilateral exchanges, with Chinese technologies, standards, and equipment being fully applied, and Vietnamese cultural elements embraced for design.
"We chose the color green as the appearance of the carriage, because green is Vietnamese favorite color. We also put the image of a pavilion in the front, which is a culture symbol of Vietnam.”
Not only are technologies being provided and capital being offered but also a cross-cultural experience. Tang Hong, general manger of China Railway Sixth Group Overseas Engineering Company said the company has not only trained staff to meet a high standard of management but has also sent some Vietnamese employees to China to get the first-hand knowledge about train operations.
“We pass our experience on to Vietnamese staff without any reservation. We hope that a large number of local professionals in management and construction can be cultivated through our training.This will help lay the foundation for Vietnam to develop its urban rail system in the future.”
The railway project began in 2011 and is expected to be fully operational next year. The new railway will accommodate an estimated 14 thousand passengers per hour. Nguyen Ngoc Dong, Deputy Minister of Vietnamese Ministry of Transport said said the train will help ease traffic congestion in the increasingly urbanized city of Hanoi.
“We consider it a very important project, because as you know Hanoi is a very big city with population very high and traffic very heavy. We consider that is one of the effective ways of solving traffic congestion in the capital of Vietnam. It’s also seen as an important symbol between China and Vietnam. “
Even though just one elevated railway will not solve all the problems, it will still be of great help in easing the pressure, and more importantly, providing a new solution, to solve the problem in the years ahead.