MRT-3 rail replacement works to kick off in November – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   August 28, 2019   •   437

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Wednesday announced that the processing of rail replacements for the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) will start next month at the welding area in the railway’s Taft Avenue Station.

The DOTr said the move follows the complete transfer of all 4,053 pieces of rails to be used as replacements for degraded MRT-3 mainline tracks.

The transfer at the Tracks Laydown Yard in Parañaque was completed on August 26.

“Ilalatag na sa welding area ng MRT-3 Taft Avenue Station ngayong darating na Setyembre 2019 ang mga bagong riles na gagamitin para sa rail replacement ng Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

Ito’y makaraang mailipat ang lahat ng 4,053 piraso ng mga bagong riles sa Tracks Laydown Yard sa Parañaque City mula sa Harbour Port Center sa Maynila,” the announcement read.

(The new rails to be used in the rail replacement for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) will be processed at the welding area of MRT-3 Taft Avenue Station this coming September 2019. This was after all 4,053 pieces of rails were transferred to the Tracks Laydown Yard in Parañaque City from the Manila Harbour Port Center.)

The DOTr said the replacement works will begin in November and are expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

“Nakatakdang simulan ang pagpapalit ng riles ng MRT-3 sa Nobyembre, matapos dumating sa bansa ang iba pang rail parts sa Oktubre. Magtatagalhanggang Pebrero 2021 ang rail replacement,” it said.

(MRT-3 rail replacement works are set to start on November after other necessary rail parts were delivered in October. The rail replacement will last until February 2021.)

The department earlier said the installation of replacement rails will only take place non-operating hours to avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service.

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.

“Malaking tulong ang mga bagong riles upang mabawasan ang “excess vibration” o pagkakatagtag ng mga bagon, na ikinasisira ng mga electromechanical component, na siya namang isa sa mga pangunahing sanhi ng train breakdown,”

(The new rails will help reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical component which has been identified as one of the causes of 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.

The DOTr earlier said the rehabilitation and maintenance works will be done on MRT-3’s electromechanical components, power supply system, signaling and overhead catenary systems, rail tracks, elevators and escalators at all its stations.

The 72 light rail vehicles (LRVs) will also be overhauled as part of the project.

Surigao airport to resume Manila flights by year’s end after runway restoration – DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Surigao airport is set to reopen flights to and from Manila before the year ends following the full restoration of its runway, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Friday.

The airport has been operating limited flights after it was heavily damaged by a magnitude 6.7 earthquake that struck Surigao del Norte in February 2017.

Giovanni Lopez, DOTr Assistant Secretary for Procurement and Project Implementation, reported that the runway restoration was completed in October 14, which was ahead of the November 2019 deadline.

The new runway is longer than the previous 1,000 meters after it was constructed with additional 340 meters.

He added this will allow Surigao Airport to accommodate direct flights to and from Manila, and operate flights from and to Cebu without limitations on passenger load.

Following the completion of the 1,400-meter runway, Lopez said contractors will now work on returning the runway to its previous full operational capability at 1,800 meters by first quarter of 2020.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, welcomed the restoration of Manila flights which is also seen to bring economic development for Surigao del Norte.

“We are glad that the contractors made good on their word to deliver in accordance with the deadline set. The people of Surigao deserve this development, most especially after a calamity. Let us always remember that air connectivity is closely tied to regional growth. Ito ‘ho ang kontribusyon ng DOTr, ito ‘ho ang tulong na ibinibigay natin sa ating mga kababayan sa Surigao,” Tugade said in a statement.

Higher fences along MRT-3 railway tracks eyed to block outsiders

Marje Pelayo   •   October 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The management of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 is planning to put up higher fences following a series of accidents involving outsiders entering the train tracks.

On Tuesday (October 15), afternoon train operation was delayed for more than two hours after a man jumped onto the tracks in between Ayala and Buendia stations.

Authorities’ investigation revealed that the man was mentally disturbed. He died on the spot after sustaining head injuries from the incident.

MRT-3 management noted it was not the first time that an outsider was able to enter the MRT stations.

There were instances in the past where some thieves were arrested after sneaking into the tracks and stealing electric cables.

According to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), there were also reports about street children climbing and crossing the fences of MRT-3.

“Ang mga batang hamog na nang-i-isnatch dyan sa EDSA, dyan din tumatalon sa bakod ng MRT. Aakyatin nila iyan. Kaya nilang talunin (Street children who snatch [items from people] in EDSA, they usually cross over the fences of the MRT). They will cross over to the other side,” noted EDSA Traffic Chief Edison Nebrija.

“Ang hirap habulin niyan dahil bakod yan (It’s difficult to run after them crossing the fence),” he added.

The UNTV News Team traversed EDSA along the stretch of the MRT.

The team observed that some portions of the MRT have high fences, and some even with barbed wires.

However, other parts of the train tracks are low with no barriers at all, particularly between Ayala and Buendia stations where the accident happened.

But according to MRT-3 Director Engr. Michael Capati, the current design and structure of walls and fences in the train tracks followed the standards.

Capati added that even the distance between stations and the structure from nearby bridges were carefully planned by experts to ensure that coaches would not collide in the event of a strong earthquake.

Still, the MRT management is considering putting up taller fences at all MRT-3 tracks.

“Sapat naman siya pero nire-review namin ngayon kung ano pa yung mga kailangan namin gawin para maprevent yung mga ganitong intrusion (They’re on standards but we are still reviewing everything to determine what else can we do to prevent such intrusion),” Capati said.

The MMDA calls on the public to immediately report to authorities should they notice any suspicious-looking persons along MRT tracks, footbridges, and other similar structures to prevent accidents. – MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

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First set of Dalian trains to hit MRT-3 tracks Tuesday

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

The third set of MRT-3 trains that were purchased from Chinese firm CCRC Dalian

MANILA, Philippines – The first set of China-made Dalian trains will be deployed at the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Tuesday night, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced.

“Starting today, 15 October 2019, one Dalian train set (equivalent to three train coaches) will hit the tracks of MRT-3 mainline during evening off-peak hours, from 8:30PM to 10:30PM,” the DOTr said in a statement posted on Twitter.

The DOTr said this development comes after MRT-3’s Japanese maintenance provider, Sumitomo Corporation-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – TES Philippines signed a consent for the limited deployment on one Dalian train set.

The said consent, according to the DOTr, indicates that the train set will be deployed for an initial trial period until the maintenance provider begins its rail replacement works in November 2019.

“Currently, three Dalian train (9 train coaches) sets have already completed the necessary commissioning and validation tests including the 150-hour run. Each Dalian train set has a three-car configuration that can carry 1,050 passengers per trip,” the DOTr said.

Each train set can carry up to 1,050 passengers.

Around 48 Dalian trains were purchased by the Aquino administration for P3.8 billion but most of it have not been used over doubts of its compatibility with the current MRT tracks.

Its deployment was delayed as the MRT-3 management had to wait for the consent of Sumitomo Corp. which maintains and rehabilitates the line.

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