DOTC set to launch new MRT train
Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Following completion of the assembly of two new light rail vehicles (LRVs) for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is set to launch a new train on the congested rail system before April. 

In a statement yesterday, the DOTC said the new LRVs 3 and 4 were assembled over the weekend after the coaches arrived in Manila last Feb. 17.

“These two coaches complete the first train set that government aims to launch before April,” the DOTC said. 

The first train set would be composed of LRVs 3, 4 and 2.

LRV 2 is currently undergoing dynamic testing.

Based on DOTC’s working timeline, LRV 2 will complete its dynamic testing, while LRVs 3 and 4 should start static testing at the end of this month. 

By early March, LRVs 3 and 4 should have completed the static testing to be able to start dynamic testing and the 1,000-kilometer run. 

In mid-March, LRVs 3 and 4 are expected to complete the dynamic testing and 1,000-km run. 

The DOTC said LRV 2 would complete the 5,000-km test run by the end of March.

The three new LRVs are among 48 coaches ordered from Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. of China under the MRT-3’s capacity expansion project. 

The first of the 48 new LRVs (LRV 1) was assembled in August last year.

Under the project, four new LRVs would be shipped to the country per month from March until January next year to complete the 48 coaches.

The project is being implemented to bring the railway’s daily capacity to over 800,000 passengers. 

The MRT-3, which runs from North Avenue station in Quezon City to Taft Avenue station in Pasay City, carries close to 600,000 passengers a day, way beyond its designed capacity of 350,000.

Meanwhile, MRT Holdings II Inc., which controls MRT Corp. (MRTC) or the operator of MRT-3, belied the claim of former DOTC secretary and now Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel Roxas II during the recent presidential debate that the MRT-3’s woes are due to the railway system’s flawed contract.

MRT Holdings spokesman David Narvasa said the Build-Lease-Transfer agreement between the government and MRTC was bidded out and approved by the DOTC and National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee.

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