MRT-3 Rehab Under Sumitomo To Start Soon
Rehabilitation of the MRT-3 Rail system is finally in full swing as the DOTr has officially handed over the overall maintenance works to the original maintenance provider, Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries-TES. With the rehabilitation work underway, it will soon increase the number of operating trains and speed up the operation in the system within the next two years.
The rehabilitation works are set to be completed within the first 24 months of the 43-month rehabilitation and maintenance contract signed in Dec. 28 last year. During the first 24-months since February, MRT-3 aims to increase their operating trains from 15 to 20, and at the same time double the operating speed of the trains to 60 to 65 kilometers per hour. This will cut the travel time between the stations from 7 to 10 minutes to just 3.5 minutes. As the rehabilitation moves along, the number of trains and its speed will gradually be increased.
The current rails are in a really bad shape which limits the speed of the train to just 30 kilometers per hour. The initial 24-month period’s goal is to restore the designed capacity of the railway, allowing the train to operate faster as early as July until the end of the year. By then, the MRT-3 would have made significant progress in terms of the rails.
The Transport Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said in an interview:
“Our objective in MRT-3 is to repair, restore and rehabilitate at the fastest possible time. And our assessment for that is by tapping the designer, the original builder and the maintenance provider of the MRT-3 for the first 12 years. That would be the fastest way to do the rehab.”
Batan also added that Sumitomo has also requested to do more detailed investigation on the Dalian trains before deploying them in the MRT-3 system. The maintenance provider needs to look at the trains themselves to assess the maintenance needs of the trains.
The rehabilitation and maintenance will cover MRT3’s electromechanical components, power supply system, rail tracks, depot equipment, elevators and escalators at all stations, as well as the overhaul of 72 light rail vehicles (LRVs).
Meanwhile, representatives from DOTr are set to be in Japan by the third week of June to facilitate the acceptance of the new rails.