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Transportation

Vietnam urban rail projects fall years late as payments lag

Stalled Ho Chi Minh City line leaves Hitachi and other contractors hanging

Workers unload a Hitachi-made train carriage at a port in Ho Chi Minh City. (Vietnam News Agency)

HANOI -- Vietnam's first urban rail projects have fallen years behind schedule as payments to contractors are held up by risk-averse political decision-making.

Construction began in 2012 on the first section of Ho Chi Minh City's planned rapid transit network, with service originally slated to start in 2018. But the opening of the Japanese-funded Line 1 eventually was pushed to the end of 2021, and further delays to late 2023 or 2024 are now expected.

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