Light Rail Manila Corp., a joint venture led by Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., said it signed a P450-million contract with Voith Digital Solutions Australia GmBH and Co KH to rehabilitate and upgrade the trains of Light Rail Transit Line 1.
LRMC president and chief executive Juan Alfonso said Voith would re-engineer 24 generation-2 light rail vehicles into six train sets over the next two years.
“The rehabilitation of the 24 LRVs will expand capacity which should result in faster travel time because of reduced train headway and queueing time,” Alfonso said.
“This is another step that will significantly improve our passengers’ daily commute,” he said.
The project will be the first overhaul of the Generation 2 fleet’s propulsion system since the Philippine government bought the generation-2 trains from Hyundai and Adtranz Sweden in 1999.
The current fleet of LRT-1 includes 51 generation-1 LRVs bought in 1984, eight generation-2 LRVs bought in 1999 and 44 generation-3 LRVs bought in 2007.
The Department of Transportation signed last month the procurement of 120 new LRVs for delivery in 2020.
LRMC already completed the P1-billion rehabilitation program on Generation 1 LRVs, resulting in the increase of the fleet from 77 to 109 LRVs and the number of daily trips from 498 to 554. As such, the interval between trains and queueing time were reduced.
LRMC said in less than two years since assuming management of LRT-1, it was able to improve efficiencies that increased the number of trains and trips, reduced passenger waiting time and increased ridership.
LRMC won the bidding for the 11.7-kilometer Cavite extension project and took over the operation of LRT Line 1 on Sept. 12, 2015. The Cavite extension will connect into the existing system immediately south of the Baclaran station and will extend to Niog, Bacoor, Cavite.