Train manufacturing isn’t just about designing, building and testing a new train, it is also about delivering that train to the customer.
And when the factory is in France, and the customer is in Vietnam, that is a challenge in itself.
Alstom has an order to supply 10 four-car metro trains for the new Line 3 of Hanoi Metro. Designed and built at Valenciennes in France, the first has now arrived in Vietnam, the second is about to be shipped. All ten should be in service during 2021.
Transporting the Hanoi metro trains is one of the most complex operations ever carried out by Alstom’s Exceptional Transport department, which has the responsibility for managing and purchasing the train deliveries. It took a year to define the most suitable transport solution, design and manufacture specific handling tools and obtain the necessary authorisations, both in France and in Vietnam. It was a real team effort between the Valenciennes site, the Alstom teams in Vietnam, and the many subcontractors involved in this project, most of whom are French.
To deliver the trains to their destination requires six lifting operations per car, each one weighing between 34 and 40 tonnes, and a transit time of two months.
At the Valenciennes site, after separation and preparation of the four cars, which are approximately 20 metres long, they are loaded onto extendable trailers using cranes to transport them to the port of Dunkirk, located just over one hundred kilometres away.
Once they reach the port, the four cars are then loaded by lifting them more than 40 metres high onto a container ship bound for Port Klang in Malaysia, a voyage of just over a month.
There, the cars are unloaded and then reloaded onto another ship bound for the port of Hai Phong (Vietnam), ten days away. There, they will be unloaded and transported by road to Nhon depot in Hanoi, 189km away.
Alstom won the contract to supply an integrated metro system for Line 3 in Hanoi in 2017. Construction of the new line involves several French companies – Alstom, Colas Rail, Thales – and is financed by the French Ministry of Economy and Finance and Directorate General of the Treasury, the French Development Agency, the European Investment Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
The new 12.5km line will include 12 stations. At full capacity, it is expected to carry more than 23,900 passengers per hour in each direction. Alstom is responsible for the design and manufacture of the 10 trains, the supply and integration of the UrbalisTM 400 signalling system, the power supply and the depot equipment.
Although the finished trains ship out of the Valenciennes factory, their design and manufacture is a collaborative effort by six Alstom sites:, Ornans for the motors, Le Creusot for the bogies, Tarbes for the electrical cabinets and traction systems, Saint-Ouen for the Urbalis 400 signalling and Villeurbanne for the onboard computerised systems, passenger information and signalling equipment.