DOTr expects to install new MRT-3 rails starting November

Robie de Guzman   •   July 10, 2019   •   717

Courtesy: DOTr MRT-3 Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – More than 4,000 pieces of brand new rails for the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) have been delivered to the Philippines, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.

In a Facebook post, the DOTr said the rails, each measuring 18 meters long, have arrived on Tuesday at the Port of Manila from Japan. The delivery was made months ahead of the expected delivery date, the agency added.

TALAGANG GOOD ANG MORNING!DUMATING NA sa Pilipinas ang buong shipment ng mga BAGONG RILES para sa MRT-3! Dumaong ang…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Tuesday, 9 July 2019

From the Port of Manila, the Japan-made rails were transported to the Tracks Laydown Yard near the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX).

The DOTr said its installation onto the MRT-3 mainline is scheduled to begin in November if the rest of tracks are delivered in October as expected.

To avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service, the agency said, rail replacement works will only take place during non-operating hours.

The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component, and later leads to glitches or train breakdown.

The procurement of new rails is part of the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation of the MRT-3 to bring back the railway’s high-grade design condition, according to the DOTr.

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South Korea to scrap intelligence-sharing pact with Japan amid history feud

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

South Korea’s deputy director of the National Security Council (NSC), Kim You-Geun | Courtesy: Reuters

South Korea said on Thursday (August 22) it will scrap an intelligence-sharing pact with Japan, a decision that could further escalate a dispute over history and trade and undercut security cooperation on North Korea.

The decision was announced after an hours-long debate within the presidential National Security Council (NSC).

Japan created a “grave change” in the environment for bilateral security cooperation by removing South Korea’s fast-track export status, citing security concerns without providing clear evidence, said Kim You-geun, a deputy director of the National Security Council.

The General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) was due to be automatically renewed on Saturday (August 24), unless either side decided to cancel it. (Reuters)

(Production: Dogyun Kim, Minwoo Park)

Japan, South Korea, China vow to address diplomatic issues at trilateral summit

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019

(L-R) Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono speaking at trilateral summit, commenting on diplomatic issues between three countries| Courtesy: Reuters

China, Japan and South Korea foreign ministers on Wednesday (August 21) vowed to address diplomatic issues at a trilateral summit.

Ties between Japan and South Korea were arguably at their lowest ebb since their relationship was normalized in 1965, hit by a heated feud over the issue of South Korean forced labour during World War Two, which spilled over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade row.

During a joint statement given by all three foreign ministers, South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha said that the three countries should “remember to face history” and remove “retaliatory trade measures,” a clear jab at recent measures taken by Japan to remove it from its “white list” of trade partners.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono shied away from commenting directly on the strain with South Korea, instead saying that all three countries should “work closely” in light of diplomatic “difficulties”.

China’s Wang Yi, following Kono’s words, said that China “hopes” Japan and South Korea will take the opportunity to manage their differences constructively during the summit.

This is the ninth such trilateral foreign ministers meeting, the last being three years ago.

From 2008, the three countries had agreed to hold a summit every year to foster regional cooperation. But bilateral tension, including that between China and Japan, has often intervened. (Reuters)

(Production: Wang Shubing, Joseph Campbell, Hyunyoung Yi, Kwiyeon Ha)

780 passengers unloaded as glitch hits MRT-3 train

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – About 780 passengers were offloaded on Tuesday afternoon from a southbound Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) train after it suffered an electrical failure in motor.

The MRT-3 management said the train was stalled around 1:01 p.m. and the passengers were unloaded at the Ayala station.

The passengers were loaded in the next train, which arrived 11 minutes later, it added.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience,” it said in a statement.

The MRT-3 management said that the motor problem could have been caused by worn-out electrical sub-components such as the main chopper, regulator, insulator.

It added that remedial measures include preventive maintenance and replacement of electrical components.

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