By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter
THE train cars for the Metro Rail Transit Line-7 project have been completed and may start arriving in the Philippines this year, San Miguel Holdings Corp. said on Thursday.
“We are happy to report that all the required 108 cars for the MRT-7 project have already been manufactured. Shipping will start after the factory acceptance test of these cars,” San Miguel Holdings Chief Finance Officer Raoul Eduardo C. Romulo said at an online forum organized by the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines.
Mr. Romulo said the conduct of a factory acceptance test has been “greatly affected” by the travel restrictions caused by the global health crisis.
“However, if everything goes according to plan, we expect some of the rolling stock of the MRT-7 to arrive in the country this year,” he added.
San Miguel bought the trains from South Korea Hyundai Rotem, with the national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corp., as its adviser.
The MRT-7 — a flagship project that is being implemented by SMC Mass Rail Transit 7, Inc. — involves the financing, design, construction, testing, commissioning, and operations and maintenance of an integrated transport system that aims to reduce travel time from Bulacan to Metro Manila.
The P63-billion project has three major components: a 24.7-kilometer mass rail transit system from North Avenue, Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, which is composed of 14 stations; an intermodal transportation terminal that will serve as a transportation hub catering to other types of public transportation; and a 19-kilometer highway from San Jose del Monte to Bocaue, Bulacan.
It is expected to accommodate up to 850,000 passengers daily and cut travel time between Quezon City and Bulacan from four hours to 34 minutes.
“As of April 2021, the MRT-7 project is halfway finished, with a total completion rate of 54.87%,” Mr. Romulo said.
“Our target at the moment is to be able to operate by December 2022. This, however, is subject to several constraints. Foremost of which is the right-of-way delivery,” he added.