The Department of Transportation said it will increase the MRT3 train speed to 40 kph from the current 30 kph starting October 1.
The agency said this is a result of the installation of the new long-welded rails in all the MRT-3 stations as part of the massive rehabilitation program of the rail line, which is being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy from Japan.
The operating speed will gradually increase from 40 kph in October to 50 kph by November and 60 kph by December 2020.
“Even during the implementation of strict community quarantine levels, with the approval of the IATF, we continued with the massive rehabilitation of the MRT-3, which includes replacing all worn out rails with new ones. Our commuters have suffered enough from the past. It is only right that we give them back their dignity in commuting using the MRT-3,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The MRT-3 has continued its rail replacement works during the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine and Modified ECQ period, where 9,216 (13.98 percent) linear meters were completed.
“After being able to increase the number of running trains, our next target is to increase the speed of our trains in the mainline, until
it reaches 60 kph. With the help of our rehabilitation and maintenance providers, Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, we assure the public that a better performance and a brighter future may be expected from the MRT-3,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Michael Capati said.
“Every month, we are conducting system check to test the alignment of the new tracks, the Overhead Catenary System, and signaling and communications to ensure that our trains are safe and secured while traveling along the mainline,” Capati added.
Prior to the completion of installation of the new LWRs, average train speed was 30kph with an average headway between 8.5 to 9 minutes for 20 trains. With the improvement on the running speed, waiting time is
expected to be shortened to 6.5 to 7 minutes.
The MRT-3 was able to complete its rail replacement works in September this year, several months ahead of its scheduled completion in February 2021.
MRT-3 trains last ran at its maximum speed on Sept. 9, 2013, but gradually saw a decline in its speed due to the degrading condition of its tracks.