MANILA - The Metro Rail Transit will replace degraded MRT-3 rails starting November, an MRT-3 official said Thursday.
"July 2021 po matatapos lahat, the whole stretch po 'yan, kasabay na po 'yung pag-overhaul ng trains," MRT-3 director for operations Michael Capati told radio DZMM.
(Everything will be done by July 2021, the whole stretch of the MRT-3 along with the overhaul of trains.)
Rail replacement works will be done gradually during non-revenue hours and the Holy Week break.
Transportation officials said replacement rails measuring 18 meters each must be welded together to create one long welded rail (LWR). "Nagsa-start na ng laydown ngayon, nagwewelding na ng riles sinesetup na saan ibabagsak 'yan sa buong riles," Capati said.
Once completed, MRT-3 trains will now run at 60 kph from 30 kph, with a headway of 3.5 minutes from 7.5 minutes and a capacity of 600,000 passengers from the current 300,000.
The MRT-3 also aims to deploy 20 trains, Dalian trains excluded, from the current 15, Capati said.
The replacement of the railway will also pave the way for the full certification of some of the Chinese-made Dalian trains, which have yet to be deployed amid doubts over their compatibility with the MRT tracks.
There are currently 9 provisionally accepted Dalian trains out of 48, according to Capati.
"Wala pang full acceptance kasi may kulang pang test tayo atsaka sa mga bagon dapat ang speed ay 60 kph. Unfortunately ang speed natin ngayon ay 30 kph," he said.
(There's no full acceptance yet because there's a remaining test and coaches should have a speed of 60 kph. Unfortunately our current speed is 30 kph.)
"Mari-reach lang po natin 'yung 60 kph pag na-replace na po natin 'yung buong riles (We will reach 60kph when we replace our railway) due by July 2021."
One of the trains was deployed Tuesday and received positive feedback, he added.
"The 2-day initial run received positive feedback. No issues surfaced, our commuters were satisfied with our launch of the Dalian train," he said.
Capati added that Dalian shouldered the cost of adjusting its trains to the MRT-3 system.
"Hindi po MRT ang nag-adjust sa Dalian at 'yan po ay walang gastos sa gobyerno," he said.
(The MRT was not the one who adjusted to Dalian and government spent nothing.)