LRT-1 operator to start replacing aging rail track
THE PRIVATE sector operator of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) in Metro Manila will start a rerailing project this April, in line with a P10 billion rehabilitation plan over the next two years that will result in “smoother” and more efficient rides for passengers.
In a statement over the weekend, Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), backed by Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., said the rerailing would cover 29 kilometers of the 32-year-old LRT-1’s tracks.
The project would cover the northbound route from Baclaran to 5th Avenue. It would complete the overall renewal of LRT-1’s track system.
The company added the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) was about to complete the first phase of the project after carrying out the replacement of the 23-kilometer southbound tracks last December on top of the eight kilometers already replaced in previous years.
LRMC Engineering Director Rudy Chansuyco said the new rails were expected to be delivered in April this year.
“Our target is to be done by the end of 2017 with new, modern tracks that will allow for smoother rides for our passengers. The rerailing would cover the systematic replacements of rails and other rail components to keep the LRT-1 line functioning at optimum quality and enable train speed to be increased from 40 to 60 kilometers per hour,” he said.
Apart from smoother rides, the rerailing was expected to minimize wear and tear and increase the reliability of the whole train system, the company said.
“Both would result to the increased life span of LRT-1,” LRMC said.
“The project would also benefit communities in close proximity to the stations, as the new set of tracks would significantly reduce the vibration and noise levels currently experienced,” it added.
Chansuyco said the rerailing project was just one of the programmed improvement projects for the LRT-1. He added LRMC was also working on the rehabilitation of elevators and escalators, improvement of the stations, and restoration of old trains.
New light rail vehicles (LRVs) are also coming soon to augment the existing fleet, he said.
LRMC is also set to construct the 11.7-kilometer extension track from the present end-point at Baclaran to Bacoor, Cavite. Eight new stations will be built along the route, with the goal of easing traffic conditions in the Parañaque-Las Piñas-Cavite corridor.
LRMC is the joint venture of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. and Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. (AC Infra) and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. It took over the operation and management of LRT-1 last September 2015.
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