18-meter new rails for MRT-3 line arrive
The 18-meter new rails that will replace the current Metro Rail Transit Line 3 rails arrived last Tuesday evening, according to the Department of Transportation ( DOTr).
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the arrival of the 4,053 pieces of rails is several months ahead of the scheduled date of deliver. The other rail parts will start arriving in October 2019.
Rail replacement works will be conducted at non-operating hours at night starting November 2019, and for completion by February 2021.
“We are happy that the rails we procured arrived much earlier than scheduled. In fact, two to three months ahead of schedule. This is the evidence that the MRT-3 Rehabilitation Project which is currently handled by the Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy from Japan is true,” said Tugade.
Tugade said the project is moving right on its schedule.
“This (project) is on track to be finished by July 2021,” he added.
The new rails weighing 4,000 tons will replace all tracks along MRT-3’s 17-kilometer main line from North Avenue Station in Quezon City to EDSA Station in Pasay City.
The rails were built by Nippon Steel Corp. and were shipped from Fukuoka following a successful test by the factory acceptance team for rails headed by MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati.
The ship bearing the rails, M/V Eastern Opal, departed from the port of Yawata last July 3 and the cargo unloading from the vessel started late last night.
The department said the new rails will be delivered and prepared for installation at the tracks laydown yard near the Parañaque Integrated Transport Exchange (PITX).
Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said the new rails are important to main service.
“The order of Secretary Tugade is to replace the rails. This is long overdue,” he said, In fact, the current degraded state of the rails makes the running of the MRT-3 (trains) vibrating and it is the main root causes why we are having problems,” said Batan.
Excess vibration is a bane to proper functioning of any mechanical and electrical equipment, and is one of the major causes of MRT-3 train breakdowns in the past.
The DOTr said with the repair of the MRT-3's wheel lathe machine last March, and the coming replacement of all of MRT-3's mainline tracks, trains will be running smoothly.
Under the MRT-3 rehabilitation project, Sumitomo-MHI-TESP will undertake the overhaul of all 72 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) of the MRT-3, replace all mainline tracks, rehabilitate power and overhead catenary systems, upgrade the signalling system, communications and CCTV systems, and repair all MRT-3's escalators and elevators, among other system repairs and improvements.
The project will span for 43 months, with rehabilitation works slated for completion within the first 26 months.
Through this project, the DOTr is expecting to raise the number of operating trains from 15 to 20 at peak hours, double train speed from 30 to 60 kilometers per hour, and slash by half headway or time between trains from 7-10 minutes to just 3.5 minutes.
Train capacity will be expected to double to 650,000 passengers daily. Ella Dionisio/DMS