MANILA - The Metro Rail Transit - 3 (MRT-3) vowed Monday to end long lines at train stations by the end of year as they look to add more trains from China's Dalian Locomotive Corp.
MRT General Manager Deo Manalo said 5 trains from Dalian will be added to the trains running during peak hours in December. This, he said, will increase the capacity of the MRT from 500,000 to 600,000 passengers.
"Ngayon po, may pila sa peak hours but during off-peak, wala nang pila. "By end of the year sigurado pong mawawala na 'yung pila," Manalo told senators on Monday during an inquiry by the committee on public services.
Manalo explained there are only 20 3-car trains running during peak hours. He said this will be reconfigured to 15 4-car trains for peak hours, allowing 5 new trains to be added.
The next phase, said Manalo, is to upgrade MRT power and to complete the North Turnback which will allow 24 trains during peak hours. He said this is expected to be completed by April 2018.
"Once we're done with the North Turnback, we can add more trains in operation and this can carry 700,000 passengers," he said.
Train tracks will be replaced after this, according to Manalo, and speed of MRT trains is expected to jump from 40 kilometers per hour to 60 kilometers per hour, allowing for "more efficient operations."
'SIGNALING SYSTEMS WORK'
Manalo said all Dalian trains have been tested from February to April 2016. The 5-kilometer test run, he said, was done from 11:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. from both ends of the MRT station.
During the test, Manalo said, they have found out that the signaling system is compatible with the MRT-3's current system called Automatic Train Protection (ATP).
"MRT uses a technology called Automatic Train Protection. It is a component that ensures safe operations in the event of driver's failure. It monitors train location, traffic condition and gives signal to follow certain speeds," he said.
Manalo said the only thing that should be resolved is the feedback signal and response time issue which they expect to be fixed this month.