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People flock to the railway running through the Old Quarter to seek an exotic experience.

Coffee shop owners along the stretch of the Old Quarter train track have asked for authorization from the Hanoi government to resume their businesses while promising to take measures to ensure the safety of both the railway traffic and the visitors. 

Accordingly, some local people have petitioned Hanoi and Hoan Kiem district authorities to lift the ban on the café business by the railway, promising they will install loudspeakers, warning signs and barriers to prevent visitors from wandering on the track. 

The owners also pledged to comply with regulations on prohibited commercial activities within a minimum distance of 1.5 m from the railway, as well as to draw safety lines and install stainless steel bars on the front of each store and house to avoid that visitors cross the tracks.

The warning signs will be bilingual in English and Vietnamese, telling visitors not to sit or stand on the track or in close proximity to the railroad when the train passes. The loudspeakers in the area will be connected to those on the trains.

Café owners will also install CCTV to supervise the business operation to ensure safety for visitors. 

Since the closure in the section of Phung Hung street took effect earlier this month, the routine of some locals here has been altered, said Nguyen Thi Dung, a café owner.


“We want to make the railway street a civilized tourism site that attracts foreign visitors. The location has been a preferred destination for both locals and tourists. We pledged to ensure the safety for the visitors when the cafes are reopened,” said Dung. 

Hoan Kiem district has acknowledged the petition of the business owners and considered to submit it to the municipal authorities, the railway agencies, and the Transport Department. 

For his part, Deputy Director of Vietnam Railways Doan Duy Hoach said that the visitors wandering on the track posed risks of accidents, in addition to preventing the maintenance of the railway. Moreover, their presence on the track slowed the train down considerably.

Hanoi has closed down all cafes and photo settings along both sides of the railway stretch running through the Old Quarter before the deadline of October 12 at the request of the Ministry of Transport to ensure safety and enforce traffic regulation. Hanoitimes

Ha An

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