Transport chief: MRT may get 12 more trains this year after repairs

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One of the light-rail vehicles purchased from the Chinese firm Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 5) - Twelve trains from a Chinese company may be operational for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 this year once public safety and security is assured, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said Thursday.

He said the system evaluation that began in January revealed the trains may have to undergo some repairs and need spare parts.

"I cannot specifically and quantitatively speak numbers and quantity, one word, manageable," Tugade said. "Basta ho magtulong-tulong lahat pwede pakinabangan at gusto natin magtulong-tulong laht upang the platform of compliance will be on a win-win."

[Translation: As long as we all cooperate, they can be utlized and we want everyone to help so the platform of compliance will be on a win-win.]

Tugade said Chinese company CRRC Dalian agreed to fully shoulder the repair costs and expenses to purchase the spare parts.

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.

The repair of the Dalian trains will coincide with the system repair of MRT trains beginning this month. This is expected to last for about three years.

It will also coincide with the entry of Japanese firm Sumitomo Corp. as service provider.

The firm, with its technical partner Mitsubishi Industries, designed and built the MRT-3, and maintained it from 2000 until 2012, when the contract with the companies ended.

MRT-3 stretches nearly 17 kilometers from North Ave. in Quezon City to Taft Ave. in Pasay City on EDSA.

CNN Philippines' Triciah Terada contributed to this report.