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31 Oct, 2017

Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway – Line No.1The first metro tunnel in Vietnam arrived one month early

Ho Chi Minh City Urban Railway – Line No.1 runs from Ben Thanh in District 1 in the city center, to Suoi Tien in the north-eastern part of the city, and will extend for a total distance of 19.7km, including a 2.5km underground section and a 17.2km elevated section. The construction project for Line No.1 is funded by Japan Official Development Assistance (ODA) and is divided into two underground packages and an elevated package. The 1.74 km-long CP1B package-one of two underground sections is undertaken by Shimizu-Maeda joint venture, comprising Opera House and Ba Son Stations, and related tunnels.

On 31th Oct, the HCM Urban Railway Management Unit and Shimizu - Maeda contractor (Japanese) held a ceremony to welcome TBM tunneling machine (300t robot) to the Opera House station after completing of the Bason East bored tunnel one month early than scheduled. By this event, the Vietnam express has articles about this ceremony.

“Expressing the joy for tunneling progress of the East Tunnel of Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line, the Japanese contractors also reminded that Vietnam should prioritize the allocation of capital.

In the morning of 31st October, the HCM Urban Railway Management Unit and Shimizu - Maeda contractor (Japanese) held a ceremony to welcome TBM tunneling machine (300t robot) to the Opera House station, after completing the Bason East bored tunnel of metro line No.1 (Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien).

Mr. Le Nguyen Quang Minh, Chief of HCM Urban Railway Management Unit, said that after more than five months of construction, TBM has completed 781 m (from Ton Duc Thang to Opera House), assembling 3,900 lining segments of the East tunnel.

This tunnel goes from Ba Son Station through Ton Duc Thang, Ngo Van Nam, 3A Ton Duc Thang, Nguyen Sieu, Hai Ba Trung Street, between the Opera House and Caravels Hotel, crossing Dong Khoi Street to the Opera House station.

According to Mr. Akito Takahashi, Deputy Chief of Representative Office of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Vietnam, it’s the first time Japanese advanced shielding technology using TBM for construction work in urban is applied in Vietnam. It has little impact on traffic and people's life.

“Together with the start of rail system installation last week, we are pleased to see the project's work items are progressing well. We hope the Vietnamese Government will consider the particular circumstances of the project and  gives effective measures to replenish the plan for capital as soon as possible, helping the project to be exploited by the end of 2020, "said Mr. Akito Takahashi.


Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of Ho Chi Minh People's Committee Tran Vinh Tuyen said that the efforts of Japanese experts as well as Vietnamese engineers have brought the first underground project of the country to the city with excellent progress exceeded the plan one month.


"This is a significant event for metro line No. 1.  With the support of the ministries, the Government as well as the Party Committee and City Council, I believe we will put the metro line No. 1 into operation by the end of 2020 despite many difficulties in terms of capital and procedures", said Tuyen.

The Vice Chairman of People's Committee said that after completing the East tunnel, the TBM machine will be launched and continue to bore the second tunnel, parallel to the completed tunnel to ensure tunneling works of metro No.1 with a depth of nearly 30 m. These four floors station consist of a shopping center, ticket area, metro line No.2 and the deepest is metro line No.1.

In the morning of 24-Oct, the HCM Urban Railway Management Unit deployed the rails assemble for overhead railways of metro No.1.  Installation of 17km rails (overhead railways) of Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro line will be completed at the end of 2018.  

Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro project with has a total investment of 2.49 billion USD (more than 47,000 billion VND) started in August 2012.   It has the length of 20 km, and goes thru districts no. 1, 2, 9  Binh Thanh, Thu Duc (HCMC) and Di An District (Binh Duong).

In particular, it includes 2.6 km underground (3 stations) and more than 17 km of overhead railways (11 stations). The project is expected to be exploited in 2020. However, the capital for this project has not been arranged by the Central Government so that the City Government had to give the advanced capital  three times to the construction contractors. “


The TBM is a horizontal boring machine, consisting of a long steel pipe with various dimensions, it’s diameter equal with the tunnel diameter, sufficient to accommodate machinery  and operation workers. The top of the pipe has a digging shield with cutting parts, rotary engine to cut.

The concrete lining segments shall be installed following boring work to avoid soil and rock collapse.. It is expected to take a year for the robot drilling two tunnels from Ba Son Station to Opera House Station . 

TBM robot with a length of 70 m, weight of 300 tons, had been produced in Japan with the cost of about $ 4 million, was shipped to Vietnam earlier this year.


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