MRT-7 more than 50% complete, set to open by Dec. 2022

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) — Despite delays in construction and limitations caused by the pandemic, San Miguel Corp. president and COO Ramon Ang said work on the Metro Rail Transit line 7 (MRT-7) is now more than halfway complete.

“Our progress for the MRT-7 project as of January 2021 is at about 54%,” Ang said in a statement on Friday.

The project is expected to be finished by December 2022, and is seen to 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 better access and seamless travel.

He noted that around 51% of civil works are now completed, including installation of bored piles, girder, and foundational works on stations, while the laying of rails or tracks is ongoing. Some 55% of electrical/mechanical works also have been completed, he added.

Per section, those already done are 6.2 kilometers of the target 13.5 km elevated part, 4.8 km of the target 6.9 km at-grade section, and 1.5 km of the 1.9 km tunnel portion.

Ang added that the factory acceptance testing of the first six trains, or 18 cars, is scheduled for April in South Korea. These were purchased from South Korean company Hyundai Rotem, with the country’s national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corporation, as its adviser.

Once these pass the tests, this initial batch will arrive within the year then more trains will be delivered the following months. SMC is purchasing 36 trains, or 108 cars, versus the 150-train capacity of the depot, giving room for future expansion.

Production of other equipment needed have also been completed including ticket vending machines and automatic gates which will be tested within the first quarter of 2021. Also aleady done is the testing of communications systems and initial batches of third rail equipment.

Other equipment expected to arrive this year are those needed for automatic fare systems, communication systems, signaling systems, power supply systems, third rail, track works systems and rolling stock maintenance equipment.

Ang said compared to their recently completed Skyway 3 project, MRT-7 was more complex given the systems that are needed to ensure efficient and safe operations of the train system that can accommodate a large number of passengers. There are also pending right-of-way issues to be solved, but he said building will continue in areas where they can work to ensure that the project is finished faster