Vietnam News

Ho Chi Minh City contemplates new security company following second metro car vandalism

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Relevant units are considering hiring a new security company to safeguard railcars of Ho Chi Minh City’s metro line No. 1 after vandalism smeared the cars again.

Photos of the railcars, which are being kept at Long Binh Depot in Thu Duc City, covered in graffiti circulated on social media on Sunday evening.

The Ho Chi Minh City Management Authority for Urban Railways (MAUR), the developer of the project, confirmed that a contractor staff member discovered the vandalism on the morning of the same day, adding that the contractor is removing the paint marks and working with local police officers for an investigation into the case.

While saying that security is typically tight at Long Binh Depot, with two layers of protection and many security cameras, not to mention hundreds of workers at the site every day, MAUR plans to require the contractor to review its security measures as Sunday’s incident is a repetition of the same act of vandalism that occurred in June 2022.

“In the immediate future, the Ho Chi Minh City Management Authority for Urban Railways will ask the contractor to consider replacing the security service it is using with a new one,” a MAUR representative said.

The metro line No. 1 embarked on its third test run on a 12.3-kilometer section of the elevated track on Wednesday at below 50 kilometers per hour.

The metro service is 19.7 kilometers long, including 2.6 kilometers of underground railways and 17.1 kilometers of elevated tracks.

It has 17 trains, each consisting of three cars, running from Ben Thanh Market in District 1 to Suoi Tien Theme Park in Thu Duc City through three underground stations and 11 stops above the ground.

Each Japanese-manufactured train is 61.5 meters long and can carry 930 passengers, including 147 sitting and 783 standing guests, at up to 110 kilometers per hour above the ground and 80 kilometers per hour underground.

Long Binh Depot, which covers an area of over 20 hectares some four kilometers from Suoi Tien Station, serves as a control center and train maintenance yard where the railcars stay overnight.

The metro project, which started in August 2012 with a total investment of VND43.7 trillion (US$1.9 billion), is now 95 percent complete.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh recently demanded that the construction of the project be completed by September 2 this year after the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee adjusted the expected completion date for it to the end of this year.

By Bao Anh & Chau Tuan – Tuoi Tre News – May 1st, 2023

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