MRT-3 to increase train speed starting Oct. 1

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2020   •   185

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Wednesday announced it will increase train speed to 40 kilometers per hour (kph) starting Thursday, Oct. 1.

In an advisory, the MRT-3 said its passengers can now expect faster travel time and shorter waiting time for train arrival as its trains are set to travel on a speed higher that the current 30kph.

The MRT-3 management said this is a result of the installation of the new long-welded rails (LWRs) in all the MRT-3 stations as part of the massive rehabilitation program of the rail line, which is being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy from Japan.

The operating speed will gradually increase from 40kph in October to 50kph by November and 60kph by December 2020.

“After being able to increase the number of running trains, our next target is to increase the speed of our trains in the mainline, until it reaches 60kph,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said.

Despite the implementation of strict community quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic, the MRT-3 management said it continued with the massive rehabilitation and rail replacement works.

The MRT-3 management said its rail replacement works was completed in September this year, several months ahead of its scheduled completion in February 2021.

Capati also said they are conducting monthly system check to test the alignment of the new tracks, the Overhead Catenary System (OCS), and signaling and communications to ensure that the trains are safe and secured while traveling along the mainline.

“Even during the implementation of strict community quarantine levels, with the approval of the IATF, we continued with the massive rehabilitation of the MRT-3, which includes replacing all worn out rails with new ones,” Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said in a statement.

“Noong mga nakaraang buwan, naiayos natin ang mga bagon, ang mga aircon, maging ang mga elevator at escalator. Noong isang linggo, nagawa nating magpatakbo ng record-breaking number of trains sa MRT-3. Patunay lamang ‘yan na may Covid o wala, tuloy ang trabaho ng DOTr at ng MRT-3,” he added.

Prior to the completion of installation of the new LWRs, average train speed was 30kph with an average headway between 8.5 to 9 minutes for 20 trains.

“With the improvement on the running speed, waiting time is expected to be shortened to 6.5 to 7 minutes,” the MRT-3 said.

MRT-3 to suspend ops from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 for maintenance works

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) on Wednesday announced the temporary suspension of rail operations next week.

In an advisory, the MRT-3 said it will temporarily shut down its operations from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 to give way to maintenance and rehabilitation works.

“Ang temporary shutdown ay ipatutupad upang magbigay-daan sa gagawing bushing replacement sa depot at turnout activity sa Taft Avenue station ng Sumitomo-MHI-TESP,” it said.

“Parte ng gagawing bushing replacement ng 34.5-kilovolt alternating current (kV AC) switch gear ay ang pagsasayos ng bus tie na nagbibigay ng supply ng kuryente sa depot mula sa Meralco power source nito sa Balintawak at Diliman, at pagkukumpuni ng isang panel na mayroong 12 bushing unit,” it added.

The line management further said that the turnout replacement works in Taft Avenue Station will also continue.

To recall, the MRT-3 implemented partial operations on Oct. 10 to 11 to give way to turnout repair activities.

“Noong ika-10 hanggang ika-11 ng Oktubre ay isinaayos ang 1A at 1B turnout sections kung saan ay 91% na ang completion rate nito, at patuloy ang isinasagawang welding ng mga ito,” the MRT-3 said.

“Bahagi ng turnout activity na ito ay ang pagsasaayos ng 2A at 2B turnout sections sa Taft Avenue,” it added.

A turnout or railroad switch is a mechanical installation enabling railway trains to be guided from one track to another railway junction.

MRT-3 maintenance works were initially scheduled earlier this year but was postponed due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is part of the ongoing massive rehabilitation project being conducted by the railway’s maintenance provider, Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The MRT-3 said the maintenance work has resulted in no unloading incidents since June, restoration of escalators and elevators in all stations, and the enhancement of train speed from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 40 kph.

The rail management hopes to further increase the train speed up to 60 kph when repair works for turnouts are completed in December.

MRT-3 to implement partial ops on Oct. 10 to 11

Robie de Guzman   •   October 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) on Friday announced it will implement partial operations on Oct. 10 to 11 to give way to repair works.

In an advisory, the MRT-3 said rail operations from Shaw Boulevard to Taft Avenue stations will be suspended on Saturday to Sunday for repair works.

“Sa halip na ipatupad ang scheduled full suspension of weekend operations upang magbigay daan sa pagsasaayos ng turn outs sa Taft Ave. Station, magpapatupad na lamang ng partial operations ang MRT-3 mula October 10-11,” the line management said.

A turnout or railroad switch is a mechanical installation enabling railway trains to be guided from one track to another railway junction.

Another repair in the said stations is scheduled from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2.

The MRT-3 management said train trips from North Avenue to Shaw Boulevard stations will continue over the weekend.

MRT-3 maintenance works were initially scheduled earlier this year but was postponed due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

This is part of the ongoing massive rehabilitation project being conducted by the railway’s maintenance provider, Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The MRT-3 said the maintenance work has resulted in no unloading incidents since June, restoration of escalators and elevators in all stations, and the enhancement of train speed from 30 kilometers per hour (kph) to 40 kph.

The rail management hopes to further increase the train speed up to 60 kph when repair works for turnouts will be completed in December.

DOTr looking for other value card service providers

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) on Tuesday said it is now looking for other automated fare collection system providers following the suspension of the mandatory use of Beep cards in the EDSA Busway.

The DOTr said it wants value card service providers that can give value cards to passengers in lower price or free of charge.

The value cards should also be interoperable or can be used in other forms of public transport.

According to Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddess Hope Libiran, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has met with other service providers to discuss proposals about the implementation of cashless transactions.

“Yung direction ni Secretary Tugade dito at ng DOTr yung cashless transactions should be able to operate on an integrated manner and it should be inter-operable before the end of this year. So, that is the target,” she said.

“Ang sabi ni Secretary Tugade there should be no monopoly and we need to open the automated fare collection system to all providers but they should be able to integrate and operate the system for free,” she added.

Aside from value cards, the DOTr is also looking into the use of QR code-based electronic ticketing system on the EDSA Busway.

The suspension of the mandatory use of Beep cards came after its provider, AF Payments Inc. refused the DOTr’s request to cut the fee of Beep cards alone.

The AF Payments Inc., however, offered to give away 125,000 Beep cards free of charge to commuters who cannot afford one.

The DOTr welcomed the move but it still insists that the value cards should be given for free.

President Rodrigo Duterte, in a public address late Monday night, said the Beep cards should be provided for free, adding that he will look for resources to fund the subsidized cards. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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