The prototype for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 will be delivered for testing in mid-August as scheduled, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said on Tuesday.
The DOTC project implementation team reported on the progress of the production of 48 new light rail vehicles (LRVs) for the MRT-3 system upon returning from last week’s inspection in Dalian, China.
“As reported by the joint DOTC and MRT-3 team, the prototype is on-schedule for delivery in mid-August. The dynamic testing phase will start in November, which is when the prototype’s bogies will arrive,” DOTC Secretary Emilio Joseph Abaya said.
“In the meantime, we will assemble the prototype and check its components ahead of the dynamic testing. The monthly delivery of three train cars should start in late January 2016,” he added.
The project implementation team said the prototype appears to be of good and reliable quality. Better traction motors to incorporate alternating current (AC) technology was used instead of direct current (DC) system presently being used, which means less maintenance needs in the future.
“What is important to us is that the train cars, once delivered, will be safe and reliable. So we prefer to be thorough with the manufacture, assembly, checking, and testing of the prototype,” Abaya said.
The DOTC and the MRT-3 gave their working timeline as follows: mid-August 2015, arrival of prototype; end-August 2015 completion of assembly of prototype; September-October 2015 checking or static testing of prototype, including dimensions, materials, and components such as lights, doors, handrails, seats, etc.; mid-November 2015 arrival of bogies; end-November to end-December 2015 dynamic testing and necessary adjustments and on January 2016 acceptance/approval, start of monthly delivery.
Meanwhile, the DOTC and the MRT-3 Office denied reports that “excuse letters” may be issued to passengers affected by train glitches.
At most, a copy of relevant incident reports may be released to any requesting member of the general public for whatever useful purposes this may serve, in line with the policy of transparency, it said.
The problems of the MRT-3 are being addressed by long-term rehabilitation and improvement projects, such as the additional train cars mentioned above; replacement of around 7,000 meters’ worth of rails, which may begin soon after their delivery within the month; and others in the pipeline including the signaling system replacement and rehabilitation of the system’s elevators and escalators, it added.