New train cars for LRT-1 Cavite extension arrive in the Philippines
Photo shows the exterior of the new LRT-1 Generation-4 trains intended to serve the rail line's Cavite extension project.
Release/Light Rail Manila Corporation

New train cars for LRT-1 Cavite extension arrive in the Philippines

(Philstar.com) - January 27, 2021 - 1:50pm

MANILA, Philippines — The first few train sets intended for the Cavite extension of the Light Rail Transit-Line 1 have finally arrived in the Philippines, the rail line's private operator said Tuesday. 

In a statement sent to reporters, the Light Rail Manila Corp. disclosed that the four new cars from Spain and Mexico were funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and are only the first of a batch of 120 cards ordered.

"Today, the trains are starting to come and, every quarter, they will come. And by May of 2022, we would have met the delivery of 30 train sets," Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said in his keynote message.

"The trainsets will arrive in batches, with at least one train set arriving every month until May 2022. The trains will each have to undergo safety checks, inspections, and required test runs with minimum kilometers and acceptance tests before being deployed for revenue operations," LRMC also said. 

According to the LRMC, the new Generation-4 trains have maximum design speeds of up to 70 kph and can service more than 1,300 commuters per trip. 

In contrast, the current LRTA 1000 and 1100 class cars currently plying the rail line have listed maximum speeds of 80 kph and 60 kph, respectively, and can also accommodate some 1,380 passengers per trip per a 2012 information memorandum by the Development Bank of the Philippines.

The LRT-1 serves some 500,000 riders per day. 

Before the pandemic, labor and transport unions in the Philippines were tagging the country's traffic situation as a mass transportation crisis, with long lines and technical malfunctions being commonplace in the daily lives of Filipino commuters.

Recent data published by online database Numbeo also found that the country still has among the worst traffic situations in the world with a total score of 198.33, good for the top spot among six of 11 Southeast Asian countries included in the index.

The LRMC added in its statement that the 11.7-kilometer LRT-1 Cavite extension is expected to service and benefit 800,000 passengers daily "by cutting down the travel time between Baclaran and Bacoor from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just about 25 minutes [while] total travel time for the full line from Quezon City to Cavite will take about 70 minutes." — Franco Luna 

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