Hanoi metro to open on schedule

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Construction of Hanoi's first metro rail line will be sped up to make sure it can be put into use at the end of 2016, according to a French Embassy statement released Thursday.

The "Line 3" project, funded by the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry and the French Development Agency, will undergo a thorough geological study to facilitate the designing of underground stations, the statement said.

Construction of the project started in September last year. The 12.5-kilometer first phase of the metro line will run from Hanoi's main train station in Hoan Kiem District to the Nhon area in the east of the city. The infrastructure above and below the ground will be built next year.

The line is "one of the most important urban railway projects for Hanoi" as it will promote the use of public transport and protect the environment, the embassy said.

The Asian Development Bank in March agreed to provide US$293 million in funding to support the construction of Line 3. The project, estimated to cost around $1 billion, is also supported by the European Investment Bank.

Hanoi's urban rail development plan envisages construction of five urban railway routes by 2020.

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