Chinese company 'confident' trains for MRT will pass weight test

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The Dalian trains arrived in 2015, but they were not used due to issues about weight and compatibility with the MRT-3 maintenance facilities and signaling system.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 19) Chinese company CRRC Dalian on Thursday expressed confidence its trains will pass a transport audit for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3).

"Actually it's the same result and we have already this such kind of test done in China before," Li Depu, CRRC Dalian general manager for overseas business, said in a media interview Thursday.

Li said CRRC Dalian is ready once the Department of Transportation (DOTr) gives the go signal to operate the trains.

MRT-3 authorities and independent auditing body, TUV Rheinland, weighed two out of 48 of Dalian's light rail vehicles on Thursday afternoon. They loaded 1,464 sandbags into the train to simulate crush capacity, equivalent to the full load of 394 passengers.

"Kung hindi siya papasa, ibabalik natin 'yan, kung papasa siya gagamitin natin," Transportation Undersecretary for Railways TJ Batan said.

[Translation: If it does not pass the test, we return them, but if they do, we will use them.]

TUV Rheinland, the Germany-based auditor working with DOTr, has been looking into 83 inspection components since January. They will release an audit report in a week. MRT officials will make a decision largely based on the audit.

"May requirements for you to answer the question of whether it can be used, para malaman namin kung ano 'yung [so that we can know the] situation for each of those items. We need to gather a lot of data, there's a lot of data to be gathered and that's what got from the exercise," Batan said.

MRT is upgrading its power supply and adding stabling tracks. DOTr is targeting 20 operating trains in six months, with the entry of Japanese rehabilitation service provider Sumitomo Corp. and technical partner Mitsibushi industries in May.

The Dalian trains are part of a ₱3.8-billion contract signed in 2014 between the Chinese firm and the Aquino administration. The trains arrived in 2015, but these were not used because of concerns with weight and compatibility with the MRT-3 maintenance facilities and signaling system.

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Triciah Terada contributed to this report.