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Korean rail firm keen on Phl

Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - February 9, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A Korean rail technology firm that is helping the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to develop an electricity-powered train is keen on setting up shop in the Philippines.

DOST Secretary Mario Montejo said the Philippines has a potential to be a manufacturer of trains because of its  large pool of skilled engineers and technicians and low manufacturing costs. Because of this, the country has drawn the interest of Sung Shin Rolling Stock Technology Co., Ltd., he added.

“Our project has showed them the potential of building trains here,” Montejo said.

He said Sung Shin RST was the supplier of the bogies they had decided to purchase to speed up their electric hybrid train (EHT) project which aims to develop a locally designed and built train as early as April this year, and targets to start test runs by May.

The procurement of the bogies from Sung Shin RST, Montejo said, has fast-tracked the development of the EHT being pursued by their unit, the Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC).

Montejo said the decision was made after realizing that development work on a locally designed and fabricated bogie will take a long time as well as entail a bigger investment.

Apart from the bogie, however, Montejo said that all the other parts, mainly the train body and other accessories and equipment, will be fabricated and built by Filipino companies.

“It will be an electric powered train like the electric road train we’re developing,” Montejo explained.

Montejo said the first train set they will assemble will be a five-coach train composed of four coaches for passengers, and one power coach.

“The capacity will be equivalent of one commuter train of the PNR,” Montejo said referring to the Philippine National Railways.

“We expect to finish the assembly by April. By May, we’ll be conducting tests already,” Montejo said.

DOST targets the train to run with a speed of 60 to 80 kilometers per hour.

“Next, we want it to run faster, to as high as 180 kilometers per hour, a high speed train,” Montejo said.

The DOST MIRD, headed by Robert Dizon, is said to be working with Sung Shin RST, and a Filipino truck body assembler, Fil-Asia Automotive and Industries Corporation, on the EHT. The latter is also the same firm that was commissioned by the DOST-MIRDC to assemble the rolling stocks, or the train, for the DOST’s Automated Guideway Transit (AGT) project that is also still in the testing stage in the UP Diliman campus in Quezon City.

Hopefully, the EHT can be adopted by the PNR to solve their need for trains to address the congestion problem also suffered by the train line.

 

A KOREAN AUTOMATED GUIDEWAY TRANSIT BY MAY DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DOST FIL-ASIA AUTOMOTIVE AND INDUSTRIES CORPORATION METALS INDUSTRY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER MONTEJO SUNG SHIN TRAIN
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