Vietnam’s first metro begins in Hanoi

New Phnom Penh International Airport is now 26 percent complete, govt to pour Rp 4.3T into Jakarta-Bandung railway project, and more construction and transport news in Southeast Asia.

[Cat Linh Station - Hanoi]

After just over ten years since construction began, Hanoi has launched its first metro line. The Cat Linh - Ha Dong metro line (which is inexplicably named Line 2A) is the first metro line in Vietnam, opening on the 6th of November with free travel for the first two weeks.

After so many frustrating delays, it’s been good to see a metro system in operation. I enjoyed watching this video of the metro sailing above Hanoi traffic, and there are more videos on TikTok at #catlinhhadong.

This week’s article is an update on an older article that precedes this newsletter, so new readers may not be familiar with it. I have compared the construction times and costs of first metro systems in Asia.

Like most articles on this site, I put this list together as part of my curiosity. I have been following the metro construction while being based in Vietnam, and I was wondering how slow the construction really is. To answer this, I put together this table.

Unfortunately for Hanoi, Line 2A now sits at the bottom of the table for the slowest construction time, though at least it’s not the most expensive. To be fair, they had some bad luck with Covid happening when they were ready to open, and they were on the cusp of opening before Covid until they were delayed by an incompatible safety certification.

I have compared construction times of first metro lines, as the theory is that once a city has some experience in building a metro line, they can learn from previous issues to avoid future delays.

I compiled a construction report for the Hanoi metro in 2020, and I will go back to Hanoi for another report and include a metro review.

And if you are interested in transit construction costs there is another site that has since started at

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