Thursday, January 11, 2018

DOTr MRT-3 Procures Independent Safety Auditor to Decide on 48 Dalian Trains’ Fate

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Department of Transportation Metro Rail Transit-3 (DOTr MRT-3) has completed the procurement of an Independent Audit and Assessment (IAA) Consultant, that will evaluate and make recommendations on what to do with the 48 cars or Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) that have already been delivered by CRRC Dalian, in addition to evaluating and making recommendations for other components of MRT-3.

DOTr OIC Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said that last 3 January, the first working day of 2018, the DOTr MRT-3 Team already met with TUV Rheinland, the winning IAA Consultant.

TUV Rheinland, a German firm established in 1872, met the high qualifications set — ISO 17020 and ISO 17065 certification, and membership in the International Federation of Inspection Agencies (IFIA). Other similarly qualified firms that participated were TUV SUD and Bureau Veritas.

Commenting on whether the 48 LRVs will be used, Usec. Batan said in a press conference held yesterday, 10 January 2018, at the MRT-3 Depot, “Na-deliver na po yung mga bagon, but we are unable to accept them unless our IAA Consultant has certified their safety and compatibility with our system.”

Usec. Batan noted that the DOTr has assured the IAA that they will not interfere or influence their assessment of the 48 LRVs.

“We will not in any way try to influence their independent assessment of the 48 cars from Dalian, at tayo po ay magdedesisyon base po sa kanilang recommendation. Kung sasabihin po nila na puwede po iyang patakbuhin ng kaagad-agaran, we will consider. Kung sasabihin po nila ay patatakbuhin yan na may kinakailangang adjustments, we will consider, of course not at our expense. At kung sasabihin po nila na kailangang ibalik yan, ibabalik po natin yan,” he added.

Earlier, concerns were raised with the 48 LRVs procured by the previous administration for P3.8 billion after they exceeded the weight prescribed in the Terms of Reference (49,700-kg vs. 46,300-kg). Compatibility with the MRT-3’s maintenance facilities and signaling system were also an issue.

Usec. Batan explained that with the current fleet of Czech-made trains, MRT-3 can operate up to 20 3-car trains. If the 48 LRVs are cleared to run, that can be increased to 20 4-car trains.

“Ang original design capacity po ng MRT-3 at peak hours is 20 3-car trains, running at 60-kph, with a 3-minutes headway. Ibig po sabihin niyan ay every 3 minutes dapat may dumarating na 3 bagon,” Usec Batan said.

“At the same time po, MRT-3 was also designed to be expandable to 20 4-car trains, running with a 2-minutes headway, or 4 na bagon kada 2 minuto. Yan po ang target natin, at kung sakali pong ma clear ng ating IAA Consultant ang 48 LRVs, ay mas maaga po nating magagawa yan,” he added.

Maintenance and Spare Parts

Spare parts for the maintenance of MRT-3 will start arriving in tranches from February to June, with MRT-3 having started to procure them last November 2017.

Batan said they will utilize the Holy Week break, during which there will be no operations, to conduct general maintenance works on MRT-3.

“Tuwing Holy Week tayo po ay nagsasagawa ng general maintenance sa buong MRT-3, at yan po ang tingin namin na mainam na target para madagdagan ang bilang ng mga tumatakbong bagon. Ito po ay dahil na rin sa inaasahan naming nakarating na ang marami sa mga spare parts na na-order na at patuloy pa nating inoorder para sa MRT-3,” he said.

Based on its contract, Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI), the previous maintenance provider, was supposed to have completed the general overhaul of 26 LRVs by November 2017. When they were terminated last November 6, BURI was only able to overhaul 3 LRVs, which is one of the causes for their termination.

No MRT-3 Fare Hike

Usec. Batan assured train commuters that there would be no fare increase while there is no substantial improvement of MRT-3 operations, restoring convenience to its thousands of patrons daily.

“Ang commitment po natin sa sektor ng riles ay hindi po tayo magtataas ng pasahe na hindi po nakakaramdam ang ating mga commuters ng improvement sa convenience, availability at reliability po ng ating mga sistema. hindi lang po dito sa MRT-3, kundi sa lahat ng sistema ng riles,” he said.

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