Tokyo Metro Supports Development of Urban Rail Network in Hanoi

The Tokyo subway is a highly advanced network that carries millions of people each day on 13 lines. Trains consistently run with clockwork precision but even a brief delay can cause a major disruption. Operation and maintenance of nine of these 13 lines is managed by Tokyo Metro, which has recently extended its expertise to assist Hanoi City with the development of its own urban railway.

Development plan for Hanoi's urban railway

Since receiving the project order early in 2013, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. has been working with Japan International Consultants for Transportation Co., Ltd. (JIC) to support the foundation of the company responsible for the operation and maintenance of Hanoi's planned urban railway system. JIC is a company specializing in consulting, funded by railway companies such as Tokyo Metro and JR East.

Southeast Asia has recently been experiencing rapid economic growth and particularly in Hanoi City, Vietnam's newly prosperous capital, this expansion coupled with a surge in population has led to increased vehicle traffic and chronic road congestion. With the city's population expected to reach 8 million by 2020, the development of a rail network was considered indispensable to sustain growth.

Step one in this process has been the creation of an organization to oversee the daily operation and maintenance of the network. With its 85 years of accumulated knowhow, Tokyo Metro is certainly an ideal model for comparatively inexperienced Hanoi officials. However, as the project has moved forward, the company has been careful not to impose its Japan-based management style on the development.

Respecting local conditions

Mr. Yoshimitsu Oku, President of Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd. at the commemoration ceremony

The above has in fact become a guiding principle, with Tokyo Metro's goal being to respect the local lifestyle and characteristics and construct a rail system that truly fits Vietnam, providing passengers with comfort and convenience on their terms. It will, of course, also be the Vietnamese themselves who are in charge on a day to day basis so the company's mission is to provide technical and operational “support.”

The project is also a valuable learning opportunity for Tokyo Metro staff, many of whom are only in their thirties and taking part in their first large-scale overseas assignment. The experience gained from cooperating with the Vietnamese to successfully complete the work will promote human resource development and also help to build friendly ties between Japan and Vietnam.

Name board placed at the local office

Looking back in 10 years time, the project is likely to be seen as the “Hanoi Model,” not just by Tokyo Metro but other rail management companies around the world. It is expected to present many unique challenges but will ultimately form the basis for Tokyo Metro to secure other international projects.

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