Train Street Hanoi


In the Old Quarter of Vietnams capital, Hanoi, a short stroll from  Hoan Kiem Lake is a street you might never have seen before. It is Train Street near the corner where Tong Duy Tan and Tran Phu are meeting. For the Hanoians who live along this slice of the track, it is home. 

Two steel tracks are running parallel through this alley and neighborhood which is nearly the same as any of the other narrow lanes of old Hanoi.

Usually, the train comes rumbling twice a day, around 3:30 pm and again at 7:30 pm. There’s no panic as residents await the oncoming machine. Everything seems to operate on a regular internal clock. As the time approaches, everything crowding the tracks just disappears into the homes along the trail. By the time the train arrives, there are usually merely a few curious foreigners left outside.

After the tracks stopped vibrating and the screeching metal machine painted blue and red is gone just leaving gusts of smoke, and dust life start again.

Like water behind a boat, life spills back onto the tracks. Kids are outside playing again, and grandmas perch on their little seats to keep an eye on the show of daily life. An excellent coexistence with some dangers inherent to the community, but as resilient as Vietnamese are an excellent showcase.