HCM City metro on schedule hinh anh 1The first line of the subway in HCM City, the Ben Thanh-Suoi Tien metro, is taking shape (Photo: VNA)

The first line of the subway in HCM City, the Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien metro, is quickly taking shape, three years after construction kicked off.

Together with the construction of underground stations near the municipal Opera House and Ben Thanh Market, the above-ground part of the route is developing quickly near Hanoi Highway from the Saigon Bridge to Suoi Tien Theme Park.

The project broke ground in August 2012. It is expected that in a few years, the route will connect with urban areas, the National University and a new Eastern Bus Station.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper has quoted Chu Son Binh, Deputy Director of Ben Thanh – Suoi Tien Metro Project Management Board, as saying that with advanced technology from Japan, the installation of girders on the route would be completed by 2017.

At the Thao Dien Metro Station, one of 14 stations on the metro route, more than 80 engineers and workers prepared to cast concrete for the station, 26m wide and 130m long.

As the workers have three months to complete station construction, they have divided their work in three shifts.

Ben Thanh will be the central station connecting other lines and Suoi Tien will be considered the point that links eastern parts of the city and neighbouring provinces.

According to the plan, from Suoi Tien, the line will extend to the proposed Long Thanh Airport in Dong Nai province.

The North – South Railway from Hanoi to HCM City will connect with the Suoi Tien station on the metro.

All of the 14 stations will be built with different architectural designs.

Of the 11 above-ground stations, the Tan Cang Station will receive most passengers with loading capacity of 154,000 passengers per day, and Suoi Tien with 147,000 passengers per day.

The Rach Chiec Station is designed to receive 107,000 passengers per day.

Construction of underground stations is also going well. Concrete casting has been in progress at Opera House Station.

Tran Van Hieu, 42, one of 100 workers at the site, said he expected the metro to significantly change the city's infrastructure.

"My son is now studying high school in my hometown. I'm very happy that he will be able to ride the subway when he comes here to study at university," Hieu said.

In January 2007, the Prime Minister published a decision outlining the transport development plan for HCM City up to 2020.

The objective is to build a network of eight urban railways and three other lines which will be either light rail or monorail.

The plan was modified in 2009, with Line 3 being split into two.

It was also decided to connect Lines 1, 3A and 3B to provide a through service in the future. However, so far only two projects have begun, despite several studies and interest from investors.-VNA