MRT problems tripled

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INCIDENTS involving broken rails of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 tripled under the Aquino administration, a report submitted to the House of Representatives showed.

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Based on the MTR-Hong Kong (HK) Assessment Survey report presented by the MRT 3 owner MRT Corp., the Sobrepeña group, the broken rail cases from 2013 to 2014 increased to 22 from 11 in 2012 to 2013 and four from 2011 to 2012.

The report also found that the availability of the rolling stock vehicles cannot meet the availability performance requirement for service during peak hours, which is 20 trains or 60 Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs).

MTR-HK added that the reliability of the door system and Automatic
Train Protection equipment are suspect at best. Also, there are five non-operational LRVs as of June 2014, three of which were involved in the overshooting incident at the Taft Station.

“The overall asset condition of the rolling stock is unsatisfactory. This is a very clear alarm that the current maintenance strategy is insufficient to halt the growth of the defect. The cases of broken rail are expected to continue to increase, exacerbating the safety risk,” the report said.

The maintenance of the MRT-3 is under the Sobrepeña group which hired APT Global to do the job.

“A broken rail is a serious threat to the safe operation of a railway. It can potentially cause train derailment resulting in substantial casualties in a high usage system like MRT 3,” the report pointed out.

The MTR recommended the immediate replacement of the defective rail sections.

“The fact that broken rails in the past had not led to train derailment should not be taken as an indication that it will not happen in the future. If rail break do occur despite the speed restriction to 40 kph and is unnoticed, the derailment risk would still be considerable,” the report said.

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