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MRT-3 speeds up trains to 50 kph
The increase has reduced the time between trains to four to five minutes for 20 trains at 50 kph, from 6.5 to seven minutes for 20 trains at 40 kph.
STAR/File

MRT-3 speeds up trains to 50 kph

Richmond Mercurio, Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - November 4, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — For the first time in six years, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) increased the speed of its trains to 50 kilometers per hour starting on Monday, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) reported yesterday.

The increase has reduced the time between trains to four to five minutes for 20 trains at 50 kph, from 6.5 to seven minutes for 20 trains at 40 kph.

According to the DOTr, this means that travel time from the MRT-3’s North Avenue station to its Taft Avenue station will be lessened from one hour and 15 minutes to just one hour and five minutes.

“With the increased operating speed, MRT-3 passengers can now expect faster travel time, shorter waiting time for train arrivals and a better and comfortable riding experience,” MRT-3 director for operations Michael Capati said.

The MRT-3 has been gradually increasing its operating speed from 30 kph to 40 kph in October and to 50 kph this month.

The DOTr said the last time the MRT-3 was able to run at 50 kph was in September 2014.

By December, the MRT-3’s speed is targeted to improve to 60 kph.

The DOTr said the improvement in train speed is a result of the installation of new long-welded rails in all the MRT-3 stations as part of the rail line’s rehabilitation program, which is being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) from Japan.

Last year, the DOTr re-engaged the services of Sumitomo-MHI, which is the original designer, builder, and maintenance provider of the MRT-3 during its first 12 years of operations.

Rail replacement works were completed several months ahead of its scheduled completion in February 2021.

Aside from the rail replacement, Sumitomo-MHI will overhaul all 72 light rail vehicles; replace all mainline tracks; rehabilitate power and overhead catenary systems; upgrade the signaling, communications and closed-circuit television systems, and repair all escalators and elevators.

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