MRT rail rehab to finish in September, ahead of target: DOTr

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 19 2020 01:53 PM | Updated as of May 19 2020 01:54 PM

An MRT-3 train goes on a test run on May 14, 2020 in preparation for its return to service after the enhanced community quarantine. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Transportation said Tuesday the rail track replacement works at the MRT-3 could be completed by September after the Metro Manila lockdown helped fast track its rehabilitation.

The new completion date is ahead of its initial February 2021 target, the DOTr said. The rehabilitation could increase the MRT's running speed to 60 kph by December.

"Tinututukan po natin ito upang lalong mapabilis, nang sa gayon ay mapakinabangan na ng ating mga kababayan," Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a video conference.

(We are focused on this to speed it up so that our countrymen can benefit from it)

The increased speed will cut waiting time between trains to 3.5 minutes from 8.5 minutes, the DOTr said. the MRT-3's capacity is also expected to double to 600,000 per day from 300,000, it said.

At least 36,540 linear meters out of the 65,892 of rail have been replaced, representing 55.45 percent of the line, the DOTr said. 

Since construction work resumed last April 6, work hours last from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. compared to the previous 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. 

A system check will be conducted on October once the rail replacement is complete, the agency said.