Broken rail derails MRT 3 operations
MANILA, Philippines—Early morning operations of the busy Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3) were disrupted on Tuesday, once again due to a broken rail.
This time, the damage was reported between the Ortigas and Santolan stations on the northbound lane, according to MRT 3 General Manager Renato San Jose. As a result, trips from North Avenue to Shaw, or about half of the railway line, were suspended starting at 5:47 a.m.
A temporary repair involving a fish plate with a C-clamp was installed at the broken rail area, allowing full operations to resume at 6:37 a.m., he said. San Jose added that the broken rail would be replaced after operations on Tuesday night.
On Oct. 2, MRT 3 operations were also disrupted at 8 a.m. after a broken rail was reported between Boni and Guadalupe stations on the southbound lane. Trains resumed their normal run after the damaged portion was repaired around 45 minutes later.
Years of neglect going back to the previous administration had made the MRT 3, which serves more than half a million people per day, prone to breakdowns.
Previous glitches involved a failure in its communications system, causing the entire system to halt operations for half a day last August.
The Department of Transportation and Communications outlined in September about P9.8 billion in new projects—both government- and private-sector funded—to expand and rehabilitate the MRT 3.
Part of the budget includes the acquisition of 48 new train coaches valued at P3.76 billion to be delivered from September 2015 until the end of 2016, and a private-sector-funded P1.09-billion automated fare collection system.
Also included in the budget is a P119.4-million rail-replacement program involving 500 pieces of rail tracks.
“This will maximize the speed of the Light Rail Vehicles and ensure the safety of passengers,” the DOTC said. Procurement will begin in the fourth quarter of 2014 with implementing and completion through mid-2015, it added.