Car bodies of first-generation light rail vehicles of Light Rail Transit Line 1 require full rehabilitation to ensure the safety of passengers, especially during the rainy season, a source said. This came to light after a passenger posted a video of water seeping through the roof of one of the light rail vehicles during a downpour on July 9, 2015.
Of the 139 railway cars grouped into 40 trains running along the 20.7-kilometer, 20-station LRT Line 1 (Green Line) that serves about half a million passengers a day, about half are still first-generation (BN) cars.
A source said the bodies of BN railway cars have been suffering from corrosion for several years now because of constant exposure to rain and sunlight. Some vehicles experience water dripping due to holes caused by rust formation. The problem becomes more serious during monsoon rain, as in the recent case captured on video by a curious passenger.
An inspection of the affected vehicle showed that rain seeped through the roof holes. The pantograph and ACU high-tension cables were also found damaged, affected by the water seepage, the source said.
LRT authorities usually unload passengers and remove the train from revenue service and apply water stop sealant as stop-gap solutions. However, this becomes inconvenient on the part of the passengers and translates into lost trips, lower revenue, less train availability, damage to company assets and bad reputation to Light Rail Transit Authority and the current maintenance provider.
The source said even the current maintenance provider is convinced that a full rehabilitation of the light rail vehicles is needed to address the problem to avert the condition of “already depleted trains” from aggravating. Doing the permanent solution would yield positive results, the source said.