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Sumitomo to start MRT 3 rehab this year

/ 05:05 AM January 15, 2019

Japan’s Sumitomo Corp. will increase the number of train sets at the busy Metro Rail Transit Line 3 and drastically cut waiting times under a 43-month rehabilitation and maintenance program that will start this year.

A copy of the agreement between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Sumitomo showed that the rehabilitation is deemed complete when 18 train sets, each with three coaches, are available during peak periods.

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That target is more than double the seven available train sets around February 2018, when disruptions at the elevated railway system traversing the Edsa in Metro Manila were also more frequent.

The trains will also need to run at a speed of 60 kilometers an hour, around double the current operating speed, the agreement showed.

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As of Jan. 11, 2019, there were 15 train sets running during peak hours while the average waiting time between trains, or headway, stood at seven minutes. MRT 3 served about 355,000 passengers that day.

In its 2018 annual report, released on Monday, the DOTr said the rehabilitation and maintenance project would run until 2022, or when President Duterte’s term ends.

By the end of that period, it expected MRT 3 to have 20 train sets serving passengers at intervals of 3.5 minutes.

Sumitomo, the original maintenance provider for MRT 3’s first 12 years, was issued the notice of award last Dec. 27 to maintain and rehabilitate the train system to its original condition.

The total value of Sumitomo’s proposal was 36.92 billion yen or P17 billion, based on the resolution of the bids and awards committee of the Department of Budget and Management’s procurement service that recommended the award to the Japanese industrial giant.

The contract will be funded by a loan from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The interest rate was set at 0.1 percent a year, payable in 28 years after a 12-year grace period.

According to the DOTr, the contract with Sumitomo would cover MRT 3’s electromechanical components, power supply, rail tracks, depot equipment and the overhaul of its 72 18-year-old train coaches.

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TAGS: Business, Japan’s Sumitomo Corp., MRT 3
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