The Transportation Department said it began deploying the first train made by China’s CRRC Dalian on Metro Rail Transit Line 3 after ensuring it is safe for public use.
It said the first train with three light rail vehicles on MRT 3 was part of the gradual deployment of 48 LRVs from CRRC Dalian that arrived as early as three years ago.
The agency said the deployment of the first train came after an extensive, rigorous and multilevel audit, assessment, adjustment and validation of the 48 Dalian LRVs that were delivered between September 2015 and January 2017.
The independent safety audit and assessment was conducted by TUV Rheinland, an ISO 17020 and 17025-certified German company.
It said among the concerns that needed to be addressed were issues on weight, signaling and maintenance equipment compatibility.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade asked CRRC Dalian to address these issues and perform all other identified adjustments at no cost to government.
CRRC Dalian started working on the necessary adjustments in July 2018, while Japanese company Toshiba Infrastructure Systems supervised and assessed the process to ensure that they addressed the open observations of TUV Rheinland.
An MRT-3 advisory panel, consisting of railway specialists from the Asian Development Bank, Australia Aid and local experts from the Philippine National Railways also participated in the evaluation and validation.
The agency said of the 48 LRVs, only three units or equivalent to one train were deployed so far for passenger service after assessment and validation. The other LRVs are undergoing the assessment and validation procedures and will be gradually deployed once cleared, the department said.
The government earlier tapped Sumitomo and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the rehabilitation and maintenance service provider of the 18-year old MRT-3.
A contingent of Sumitomo and MHI engineers began working at the MRT-3 depot daily on Oct. 15 for advance transition works.
The exchange of notes and loan agreement between the Philippines and Japan will be signed in early November, ahead of the upcoming meeting of the Philippines-Japan High Level Joint Committee on Infrastructure and Economic Development in Manila in mid-November.
Transportation Undersecretary for railways TJ Batan said that apart from an improved and rehabilitated MRT-3, Filipinos could also look forward to other railway projects all over the country.
Tugade assured Filipino commuters that the government was working double time to fast-track the completion of infrastructure projects.