The Department of Transportation said Thursday it expects the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 to start partial operations, with test runs by April and actual passenger operations by December next year.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte unveiled the rail line’s brand-new train sets, following their arrival from South Korea in September.
Six train sets or 18 rail cars were already shipped. The entire MRT-7 system will have 36 train sets or 108 rail cars.
MRT-7 trains will use a “third rail” electrification system, instead of overhead catenary lines. This means that instead of tapping power from electric lines above the railway track, the trains will get its electric power from a “third rail” along the track.
The MRT-7 unsolicited proposal was first submitted to the then Department of Transportation and Communications in August 2001, while the concession agreement with San Miguel Corp. was signed in August 2008.
Stagnant for almost two decades, the actual construction of MRT-7 project started in August 2016. The rail line’s overall progress rate is now at 62.10 percent.
Once completed, the 22-kilometer railway will link North Ave. in Quezon City and San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, reducing travel time from as long as three hours to just 35 minutes. The project is also expected to serve 38,000 passengers during peak hours daily.
MRT-7 will have 14 stations at Quezon North Ave. Joint Station; Quezon Memorial Circle; University Avenue; Tandang Sora; Don Antonio; Batasan; Manggahan; Dona Carmen; Regalado; Mindanao Ave.; Quirino; Sacred Heart; Tala; and San Jose del Monte. Through the Quezon North Ave. Joint Station, the MRT-7 will link with MRT-3 and LRT-1.
The project is part of the Duterte administration’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program which aims to ease traffic congestion and spur economic growth.