MRT 3 to field fewer trains once system rehab starts in 2019
Only 12 Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 trains may be left running once the Japan-led rehabilitation project for the entire system starts next year, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The limited number of operational trains, which might once again result in long lines at stations, emphasized the need to get the 48 brand new China-made trains running as soon as possible, Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Tuesday.
Tugade added that he had given Dalian Corp. until Aug. 20 to finalize its assessment of the needed repairs which it should also shoulder.
The P11.6-billion MRT 3 rehabilitation project funded by a loan from the Japanese government is aimed at overhauling and restoring to their original condition the train system’s 72 coaches within 26 months or until 2020.
It will be carried out by Sumitomo Corp. which will return as the MRT 3’s maintenance and service provider. But once the rehabilitation of the MRT 3 begins, only 12 trains can operate as the rest undergo repairs, Tugade said.
This will affect the operations of the MRT 3 which has been fielding an average of 15 trains since April from a record low of eight.
Waiting for audit report
The DOTr has yet to release the results of the independent audit conducted of the Dalian trains which would have determined whether these were safe to operate.
But Transport Undersecretary for Rails TJ Batan said that while the new trains failed to comply with some of the provisions in the terms of reference, they could still be used after Dalian Corp. makes the necessary adjustments and repairs. —WITH A REPORT FROM FATE COLOBONG
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