By Le Yanna, Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan
HANOI, May 20 (Xinhua) -- 67-year-old Hanoi resident Le Tuan Can pleasantly moves his steps along the green train here Saturday morning after travelling nearly 14 km from his home.
The elderly man made himself one of the first local citizens to visit the on-display La Khe Station and the sample train, part of the capital's first light rail line Cat Linh-Ha Dong which has now come closer to its completion.
The line, with a total length of around 13 km and runs through 12 stations, has the sixth bureau of China Railway Engineering Corporation(CREC) as the EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contractor. It began construction in 2012 and is expected to enter commercial use in 2018.
"Making La Khe station as a model station open to the public, we are eager to show Made-in-China project to the Hanoi citizens, bringing them to experience Chinese technology in advance", Tang Hong, the Overseas General Manager of CREC, told Xinhua during the opening ceremony of the model station.
Placed in Hanoi's urban district Ha Dong, the newly-completed station and the sample train have attracted hundreds of Hanoians to visit in the first day of exhibition, which is to last until June 20.
Taking a tour around the station erased the elderly man Can's worries about the safety of this construction.
The four-carriage train has 16 exit doors in total. Inside there are priority seats for people with disabilities, the elderly, pregnant women and children. White seats and steel holders are there to make sure safe position for standing passengers.
"Looking at the rail, the train and the station, I feel very secure," Can told Xinhua, adding that the station looks very spacious and nice.
Having to travel along this route to the hospital twice per month, Can is now very happy that his regular heath check will no longer be a nightmare due to heavy congestion.
Like Can, the 83-year-old Bui Tan Phu said today's visit is truly worth the experience.
Living in the nearby Thanh Xuan District, Phu travelled some 10 km to the station and could not wait to see the train making its debut.
"It is comparable to the modern trains I've tried in other countries. It even has some superior characteristics," the former soldier said.
The elderly man hailed the airy space and the infrastructure of the station, as well as the polite attitude of the receptionist, who gave him caring guidances around the place.
Phu's wish was to be one of the first passengers of the train. "I have a lot of friends in the surrounding area. With this new train, I can visit them easily," he said.
Reiterating the importance of the line, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong said during the ceremony that the exhibition of the model station is to popularize the new mode of transport to local citizens and encourage the travelling habit using this public means.
Ying Haihong, Charge d'Affaires of Chinese embassy in Vietnam, told Xinhua that with the quality completion of the light rail line, the lives of Hanoi citizens will benefit a lot and the relationship between the two countries will be further enhanced.
During Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quaing's visit to China on May 11-15, further preferential loans to the light rail line project was granted through an agreement signed bilaterally.
"With more fund, the next phase of the construction will be smoother", stated Tang Hong.