MRT3 officials inspect new rails in Japan before delivery

Officials of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3) under its Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) Team for Rails headed by MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati, accompanied by ADB Rail Expert Peter Raeside, and TES Philippines Chairman Kiyoshi Morita visited Nippon Steel in Fukuoka, Japan on June 20, 2019 to inspect the new rails that will be installed on tracks as part of MRT3 comprehensive rehabilitation and maintenance.

“Over 50% of the rails are ready for shipment from Japan, and are expected to arrive in the Philippines in the third quarter of this year (July – August 2019) — several months earlier than its scheduled date of delivery,” DOTr-MRT3 said.

It explained that “with the repair of MRT-3’s wheel lathe machine last March, and the upcoming replacement of all of MRT-3’s mainline tracks, MRT-3’s will be running smoother and with less vibration.”

According to DOTr-MRT3, vibration affects MRT3 coaches’ mechanical and electrical equipment and caused breakdowns in the past.

“Under the MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project, Sumitomo-MHI-TESP will undertake the overhaul of all 72 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) of the MRT-3, replace all mainline tracks, rehabilitate power and overhead catenary systems, upgrade the signalling system, communications and CCTV systems, and repair all of MRT-3’s escalators and elevators, among other system repairs and improvements,” DOTr-MRT3 said.

It is expected that after the rehabilitation, number of operating trains will be raised from 15 to 20 at peak hours, double train operating speed from 30 to 60 kilometers per hour, and slash by half the waiting time from 7-10 minutes to just 3.5 minutes.

“Train capacity will likewise double to 650,000 passengers daily,” DOTr-MRT3 said. “The project will last for 43 months, with rehabilitation works slated for completion within the first 26 months.”