Faster travel time and shorter waiting time at the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) would benefit passengers beginning October 1 as the management prepares to increase the train speed to 40 kilometers per hour.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the MRT-3 will gradually increase its operating speed this year from the previous 30 kph to 40 kph in October, to 50 kph by November, and 60 kph by December.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that this was a result of the installation of the new long-welded rails (LWRs) in all the rail line’s stations as part of its massive rehabilitation program being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) from Japan.
“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,” Tugade said in a statement.
“Our commuters have suffered enough from the past. It is only right that we give them back their dignity in commuting using the MRT-3,” he emphasized.
Meanwhile, MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said the management continued its rail replacement works even during the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ period, where 9,216 linear meters or 13.98 percent have been completed.
“Every month, we are conducting a system check to test the alignment of the new tracks, the Overhead Catenary System (OCS), and signaling and communications to ensure that our trains are safe and secured while traveling along the mainline,” Capati added.
“With the help of our rehabilitation and maintenance providers, Sumitomo-MHI, we assure the public that better performance and a brighter future may be expected from the MRT-3,” he said
Before the rehabilitation project, Capati said that the railway system’s average train speed was at 30kph with an estimated headway of 8.5 to 9 minutes for 20 trains. With the improvement in the running speed, waiting time is expected to be shortened to 6.5 to 7 minutes, he added.
The MRT-3 was able to complete its rail replacement works in September this year, several months ahead of its scheduled completion in February 2021.
It was in September 2013 when MRT-3 trains last ran its maximum speed which was gradually reduced since then due to the degrading condition of its tracks, the management said.