“Our progress for the MRT-7 project as of January 2021 was about 54 percent. We have already completed a significant amount of civil works, including the installation of bored piles, girders, foundational works on stations, and we have been installing rails or tracks. At the same time, E&M works have also advanced significantly,” SMC president Ramon Ang said.
Ang said that for the project’s elevated section, some 6.2 kilometers of the target 13.5 km. was completed while for the at-grade sections, 4.8 km. of the target 6.9 km was finished. About 1.5 km. of the 1.9-km. tunnel portion was done.
“Given our progress today, and all the major milestones we’re expecting this year and the next, I think we’re confident we can achieve full, complete operations by December next year, with our first test run scheduled for June next year. By then, I believe we would be recovering already from the impacts of COVID-19,” Ang said
“Our economy will be on the way up, and people will be resuming their lives in the next normal. MRT-7 will be ready for them, to help make commutes faster, to boost our economy, and bring growth to more areas,” he said.
Ang said the factory acceptance testing of an initial six trains or 18 cars was scheduled for April in South Korea.
San Miguel purchased the trains from South Korea Hyundai Rotem, with the country’s national rail manufacturer Korea Railroad Corp. serving as its adviser.
If the trains pass the tests, which will be witnessed by KORAIL officials together with SMC and Department of Transportation representatives, the first batch of trains will arrive within the year, he said.
More trains will then be delivered every month. A total of 36 trains or 108 cars are being procured by SMC for the project. The company said its depot would be capable of holding up to 150 trains for future capacity expansion, if needed.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing of other important equipment, sourced from various countries, were also completed, Ang said. These include ticket vending machines and automatic gates, with factory acceptance tests scheduled within the first quarter of this year.
Manufacturing and testing of communications systems were also completed. Initial batches of third rail equipment—responsible for delivering electrical power to the trains—and track works such as rails and fastening assemblies were also done.
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—would be delivered from various countries throughout the year.
Once completed, the MRT-7 project would make daily commutes from Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan faster and easier. It will link up with MRT-3 and LRT-1, providing greater access and seamless travel.
It is also seen to spur economic growth in Bulacan, as businesses and residential developments are seen to further grow in the area, contributing to the decongestion of Metro Manila.
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