Japanese engineers start system audit on MRT-3
More than 50 railway engineers and experts from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will start due diligence and system audit of the MRT-3 Thursday.
The system audit is a necessary step to determine all the rehabilitation and restoration works needed on the MRT-3 system, which will be done by a JICA-nominated rehabilitation and maintenance provider that will be mobilized in May, the Department of Transportation ( DOTr) said Thursday.
Sumitomo designed and built the MRT-3 system from 1998 to 2000, and maintained it from 2000 to 2012.
“We obviously need all the help we can get and we are very grateful that the Japanese Government answered our call for assistance to rehabilitate and restore the MRT-3 system.,” said OIC Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan.
The system audit s separate from the ongoing Independent Audit and Assessment (IAA) by TUV Rheinland, an ISO 17020 and ISO 17065 certified and IFIA member certifier (International Federation of Inspection Agencies) for the entire MRT-3 system, including the 48 train cars from CRRC Dalian. The TUV Rheinland IAA commenced last Jan. 3 and has a 3 months duration.
Batan added additional trains on the MRT-3 may be expected within February since the first batch of spare parts ordered last December are scheduled to be delivered and installed this month. The spare parts that were ordered have a delivery lead time of 30 days to 6 months.
“We created a Special Bids and Awards Committee for MRT-3 to address the urgent need to restore its service, which require the expedited procurement of spare parts, among others,” added Batan.
The MRT-3 line has been plagued with daily stoppages even under its former maintenance operator, Busan Universal Rail Inc., whose three-year contract was terminated by the DOTr in November 2017.
Last week, smoke was observed from one of the coaches of a southbound train, forcing passengers to walk on the rails to a nearby station.
The DOTr began deploying buses along MRT-3 North Avenue and Quezon Avenue stations during morning and evening rush hours to give passengers another option for those who are bound for Shaw Boulevard and Ayala DMS