THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) is targeting to deploy the trains manufactured by Chinese firm CRRC Dalian Co. for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) by the end of the year, after securing the Chinese firm’s assurance it will shoulder the costs of any modifications.
Pumayag na ang Dalian na kung mayroong kailangang baguhin, gastos nila. Yung spare parts, gastos nila [Dalian has agreed that for the modifications needed for the trains, they will pay for it. For the spare parts, they will pay for it],” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade told reporters after a forum on Tuesday.
Mr. Tugade said the matter of the 48 Dalian railcars, which have not been used since it was delivered in 2016 due to compatibility issues, was discussed during a meeting with Chinese government officials last week.
He said the Dalian railcars will have to be integrated into the MRT-3 system.
Syempre kailangan kausapin din namin ‘yun para ma-integrate ‘yun. Kasi kung hindi mo i-integrate ‘yun, pag inumpisahan yung repair, how can I achieve 600,000 ridership [Of course we need to talk to them, too so we may successfully integrate the trains. If not, when the repair starts, how will I achieve a ridership of 600,000],” Mr. Tugade said.
The government hired third party auditor TUV Rheinland to assess the needed adjustments on the train sets. The review began in January and the results were submitted to the DoTr in July, but has not been disclosed to the public.
Sinabi naman sa international audit report na hindi naman critical sa safety ng pasahero at nung system. Kaya nag-uusap din [The international audit report said it is not critical to the safety of passengers and to the system. That’s also why we’re holding discussions],” Mr. Tugade said of the proposed modifications to the rail cars.
Almost two weeks ago, the National Economic and Development Authority’s Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) also approved the P22.061-billion restoration and maintenance project on the MRT-3. It is now up to the NEDA Board chaired by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to greenlight the project.
The DoTr is also looking to secure a deal with Sumitomo Corp. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (Sumitomo-MHI) by the end of the month or in September to handle the maintenance of the MRT-3. — Denise A. Valdez with report from Arra B. Francia