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MRT-7 to open by end-2022

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San Miguel Corp. bought the trains for the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 from South Korea Hyundai Rotem. The first six trains will be tested in South Korea in April. -- Company handout

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) on Friday said the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) project is now 54% complete, on track for its opening by the end of 2022.

“We have already completed a significant amount of civil works, including the installation of bored piles, girders, foundational works on stations, and we have been installing rails or tracks. At the same time, E&M works have also advanced significantly,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a statement on Friday.

Around 6.2 kilometers (km) of the 13.5-km elevated section is complete, while 4.8 km out of 6.9 km of the at-grade section and 1.5 km of the 1.9 km tunnel section are done. Civil works and electrical/mechanical works are both more than halfway done.

Mr. Ang said that construction of the project connecting Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan continued despite limitations during the lockdown declared to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

“Now that we’ve crossed the halfway mark, we’re expecting to reach a lot of major milestones for this project this year. This includes the construction of the stations, testing of various equipment in different countries, and the actual arrival of these equipment, including the first batch of trains,” he said.

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The initial six trains or 18 cars will be tested in South Korea in April.

SMC bought the trains from South Korea Hyundai Rotem, with the national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL), as its adviser.

If the trains pass the tests, the first batch of trains will arrive within the year. SMC will acquire a total of 36 trains or 108 cars for the MRT-7.

The MRT-7 depot will be capable of holding up to 150 trains for future capacity expansion, if needed, the company said.

Mr. Ang said manufacturing of other important equipment, sourced from various countries, have also been completed.

“Given our progress today, and all the major milestones we’re expecting this year and the next, I think we’re confident we can achieve full, complete operations by December next year, with our first test run scheduled for June next year. By then, I believe we would be recovering already from the impacts of COVID-19. Our economy will be on the way up, and people will be resuming their lives in the next normal. MRT-7 will be ready for them, to help make commutes faster, to boost our economy, and bring growth to more areas,” Mr. Ang said. — Jenina Ibañez

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