DOTr eyes deployment of 48 Dalian trains this year

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) targets to deploy the 48 trains that were purchased from Chinese firm CCRC Dalian Co. for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) within the year.

This developed as Dalian agreed to absorb the costs for the adjustments of the trains following the results of a study conducted by independent audit and assessment (IAA) consultant TUV Rheinland earlier this year.

The consultant’s findings showed that the weights and measurements of the Dalian trains did not comply with DOTr’s terms of reference.

The department is currently conducting negotiations with Japanese company Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd to take over MRT system’s maintenance and rehabilitation.

“Our target for the deployment of the trains is within this year. We are also having ongoing talks with Sumitomo,” DOTr communications director Godess Hope Libiran said in a text message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Thursday.

In a business forum earlier this week, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade disclosed that Dalian has agreed to pay for the modifications that will be done on the trains during its meeting with Chinese government officials last week.

Tugade earlier said remedies to be done on the Dalian trains should not be shouldered by the Philippine government.

The issue on the Dalian trains must also be addressed as the DOTr prepares for the entry of a maintenance provider that will repair the train coaches and other facilities of the MRT.

The DOTr is eyeing Sumitomo to take over the maintenance operations of the MRT by the end of this month or September at the latest.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee has approved earlier this month the PHP22.061-billion MRT maintenance project.

The rehabilitation will increase the number of train sets in operation from 15 to 18 train sets per hour, increase the maximum speed to 60 kilometers per hour and decrease headway to 200 seconds.