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Covid-19 Supply Chain Disruptions Delay Delivery of Hanoi Metro Trains to End of 2020

Disruptions in global shipping, shuttered factories and supply chain interruptions mean the trains for Hanoi's second metro line will arrive from France later than expected.

Originally slated to reach Hanoi in July, the first of 10 trains for the line won't get here until the end of 2020, according to a statement released by The Hanoi Metropolitan Railway Management Board. The second train is also abroad currently awaiting safety tests, while the third has just been completed.

Work on the remaining six is delayed for an unspecified amount time because the French factory where they are being built was closed from mid-March through early May on account of the COVID-19 crisis. The plant is also facing challenges sourcing materials because of global supply chain frustrations.

Each of the trains will consist of four or five cars at a total cost of nearly VND3 trillion (US$129 million).

The 12.5-kilometer train route was 62% complete as of last month, with trial tests originally scheduled for the end of the year. There is no word on how the delayed trains will affect this timeline. 

Meanwhile, the French experts needed to perform the required final safety test on the city's first line are currently unable to enter the country thanks to the travel restrictions enacted in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Similarly, only 28 out of the 150 Chinese laborers working on the line have been granted permission to enter Vietnam. 

The Cat Linh-Ha Dong line was set to begin operations in April, but this inability to bring in the required personnel has left its opening date uncertain. A financial dispute between Hanoi authorities and the Chinese contractor further complicates matters.

[Photo via Nguoi Lao Dong

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