MANILA – San Miguel Corporation has announced that the first batch of trains for its Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-7 project is set to arrive in the country from South Korea next week, even as work continues for the completion of the much-awaited mass rail project.
The trains, which consist of six cars or two trainsets procured from South Korea’s Hyundai ROTEM, have cleared inspections and factory acceptance testing, with the country’s national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL), serving as SMC’s adviser.
Each trainset is 65.45 meters long -- or well over the entire length of an Olympic-size swimming pool, which is 50 meters.
“The timely arrival of these brand new, high-quality trains from South Korea --known as one of the world’s best train and rail systems builders -- is such a welcome development, and I believe holds a lot of significance. At a time when many are feeling uncertain about our country’s future because of the pandemic, this shows that the job of nation-building continues; that the work of improving our infrastructure, boosting our economic growth prospects, and investing in our country’s brighter future, also doesn’t stop -- especially for us in San Miguel,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement Wednesday.
Ang said more trains are set to arrive in the following months, up to next year, until all 108 cars or 36 trainsets the company acquired are delivered.
Despite continuing pandemic restrictions and pending right-of-way (ROW) issues, the project itself is now at over 54 percent completion, with installation of bored piles, girders, and other foundational works on a significant portion of the project, already completed.
“Right now, construction activities on the guideway and the stations are ongoing. Electronic and mechanical works also continue. As we said before, the MRT-7 project is in many ways more difficult and complex than even our recently-competed Skyway Stage 3 -- which in itself is an engineering feat,” he said.
Ang said MRT-7 has added complexities such as electric power systems, computer and communications systems, signaling systems, and automatic fare systems, among others.
“There are many causes of delay, from necessary pandemic restrictions, to ROW issues, but as with all SMC projects, we apply 110 percent effort to all the areas we can work on, so as to minimize delays. The most important thing is we don’t stop, we keep on progressing. We thank our national government, especially President (Rodrigo) Duterte, the DoTR (Department of Transportation), the DPWH (Department of Public Works and Highways), and the LGUs (local government units) of Quezon City and Bulacan, for their continuing support for this project,” Ang added.
Earlier, SMC reported that manufacturing of other important equipment needed for the MRT-7 which were all sourced from various countries has also been completed.
Various other railway operations equipment such those needed for automatic fare systems, communication systems, signaling systems, power supply systems, third rail, track works systems and rolling stock maintenance equipment --used for the maintenance of trains-- are also set to be delivered from various countries throughout the year.
The first test run of the project is set for December 2022. (PR)