DoTC upgrades obsolete, risky MRT signaling system
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said the obsolete signaling system of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) that have stalled operations and put passengers’ lives at risk will soon be resolved.
In a statement, the DOTC said a P53.37-million signaling system upgrade project has been awarded to Moscow-based Bombardier Transportation Signal, Ltd. as part of the agency’s railway rehabilitation efforts.
“This upgrade of an obsolete signaling system, which should have been done by the private sector owner years ago, is crucial in minimizing operational disruptions. This will improve reliability and efficiency of the rail system for the benefit of our passengers,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya said in a statement.
Bombardier Transportation Signal Ltd. is a joint venture of Berlin-based Bombardier Transportation, the world’s leading rail sector solutions provider, and the Russian Railways.
Bombardier holds exclusive proprietary rights to supply new components because it designed, developed and implemented the entire MRT-3 signaling system when it was first constructed.
Under the P53.37-million contract, Bombardier will replace the existing local control system called MAN 900 with the more contemporary EBI Screen 900 more than the next seven months.
The new software has the same functionality as MAN 900, but will allow the use of modern personal computers and fiber optic technology, the DoTC said.
The signaling system maintains safe distances between trains and controls their speed.
Apart from modernizing the software components, the upgrade will also ensure the availability of spare parts needed for the uninterrupted and efficient operation of the metropolis’ busiest rail line.
Within the first month of the contract, Bombardier will provide the required hardware upgrades and software licenses; install, test, and commission support for the new system; carry out the migration of existing data and functions; and train MRT-3 personnel on proper operation and maintenance, DOTC said.
Meanwhile, the DOTC promised more than 7,000 linear meters’ worth of new rails are set to be installed within the year to replace worn-out tracks in order to ensure safer and smoother rides.
The DOTC also claimed the rehabilitation of MRT-3 toilets is presently being carried out, with six facilities already open for public use.
It also claimed the ongoing refurbishment of 12 Schindler-brand escalators is expected to be completed before the year ends.
The DOTC also said the recently-launched “beep cards,” or the new tap-and-go ticketing system, will be activated in all MRT-3 stations this Saturday, October 3. The agency claimed this will help shorten queuing time for passengers.
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