A Vietnamese driver operates a train during the operational drill of Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, June 7, 2019. (Xinhua/Wang Di)
by Wang Di, Bui Long
HANOI, June 11 (Xinhua) -- "Everything has gone well," said smiling Hoang Tuan Anh, one of Vietnam's first urban railway train drivers, right after he and his colleagues proficiently "parked" a greenish silver train at its depot on Friday afternoon.
The Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project, constructed by China Railway Sixth Group, wrapped up its one-month operational drill on Friday.
On the final day of the drill, Anh and his colleagues took part in a "final exam," which involved running the urban railway route according to schedules all by themselves, without any help or hints from the Chinese instructors.
"All Vietnamese drivers and staff in all positions have ensured smooth coordination," Anh, wearing a lemon yellow uniform vest, told Xinhua after getting off the train.
Standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Anh at the entrance of depot, his colleague Ha Van Trong excitedly told Xinhua that both of them graduated from the Vietnam Railway College, and were sent to Beijing along with other Vietnamese drivers to learn how to drive electric-powered trains during the 2014-2015 period.
"I believe that the knowledge and skills we acquired in China, plus the in-depth training and various drills in Vietnam, will ensure the effective and safe operations of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway," said Trong, adding that he and his colleagues now feel confident to drive the trains safely, whether using the automatic mode or the manual one.
"We hope the urban railway will start receiving passengers as soon as possible. We're ready and eager to serve them," Trong said, under the scorching June sun in Hanoi.
On the same day at the railway project's operating control center, about half a dozen local young men and women sat quietly in front of a huge screen, which was as wide as the room.
Their eyes were glued to the green, blue and red lines, graphs and numbers on the screen. They sometimes had brief conversations with staff in other positions via an internal communications system.
With well-trained eyes, they could instantly ascertain from the screen the position and status of each train and station on the rail line and quickly send necessary orders accordingly.
"Today, we Chinese instructors will just watch from a distance, letting our trainees run the whole route," Luo Xin, project general manager in Vietnam of Shenzhen Metro International Investment and Consulting Co., told Xinhua proudly from the operating control center.
Many other Chinese instructors with similar smiles sat behind a light blue tape marking out the "observing area," watching their trainees operating all the modern equipment and systems skillfully and accurately.
According to Luo, the operational drill, jointly held by China Railway Sixth Group and Shenzhen Metro, started in early May with a total of 21 rehearsals, including those related to large passenger flow management and the rescue of failed trains and emergency response at stations.
As a crucial stage prior to commercial operations, the drill was aimed at strengthening and testing the skills and emergency handling capabilities of each person and position.
Photo taken on June 7, 2019 shows a train during the operational drill of Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway project in Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. (Xinhua/Wang Di)
The 13-km-long Cat Linh-Ha Dong elevated railway, which runs through 12 stations in three districts of Vietnam's capital city, overlaps with some of the busiest routes in Hanoi. It is widely expected to ease the growing rush hour traffic jams in the capital city, which has a population of more than 9.6 million people, most of whom drive motorbikes for their daily commute.
"Today the Vietnamese trainees smoothly ran the trains 74 times according to schedules, covering a total distance of some 847 km," Tang Hong, general manager of the Overseas Engineering Branch Company of China Railway Sixth Group, told Xinhua on Friday.
Tang, who is also the project manager of the Cat Linh-Ha Dong urban railway, said that the "final exam" independently operated by the Vietnamese side can effectively test and upgrade the results of previous training and rehearsals.
"The tacit understanding of various departments and professionals within them will further enhance the safety of commercial operations in the near future, providing comfortable and convenient commuting for Hanoi residents," he said.