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SMC readies first train set for MRT-7 line

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San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has unloaded and installed the first trainset for its Metro Rail Transit – 7 or MRT-7 project in Quezon City, Saturday morning, with the second trainset scheduled to arrive at the project site Sunday morning. The trainsets, which SMC ordered from South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem, arrived recently at the Manila Port and are the first of six trainsets the company expects to arrive by end of the year.

The two train sets, consisting of three cars each, were shipped from Masan Port towards the end of August, were dispatched to the MRT-7 tracks between University Avenue and Tandang Sora, after clearing customs at the Port of Manila.

SMC, is the concession-holder for the project and is fully-funding construction of the 22-kilometer mass transit system that links up with the MRT-3 and LRT-1 and extends from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

SMC president Ramon S. Ang said that after the first trainset was delivered from the Manila port early Saturday morning, it was immediately set up at the site, with the second batch of train cars to be mounted by 2 am on Sunday, September 12.

“Our engineers and workers assigned to unload the trains have been at the site since early Saturday morning and will be there until the whole process is completed the following day. We have to be very thorough during the whole process to ensure that it is done efficiently and quickly while inspections are continuously being done,” Ang said.

“We are working round-the-clock to meet the first test run by next year. We know that our countrymen are eagerly awaiting the formal opening of the MRT-7 so that they can experience faster, more efficient, and comfortable travel. This is even more crucial during the pandemic when additional transportation options are required to bring people safely to work and back to their homes,”he added.

The MRT-7 project is currently at 55.3% completion, despite pandemic restrictions and pending right-of-way issues. Workers have already completed the installation of bored piles, girders, and other foundational works.

The MRT-7 aims to reduce travel time from Quezon City to Bulacan to just 35 minutes, a luxury for daily commuters whose usual trips take hours due to traffic congestion and limited transport options.

SMC ordered a total of 36 trainsets or 108 cars from Hyundai ROTEM. The trainsets arrived in Manila last September 6 following extensive inspections and factory acceptance testing. South Korea’s national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL), served as SMC’s adviser.

“South Korea has one of the world’s best railway transport systems and the arrival and eventual use of these trains for the MRT-7 will put our transportation system in NCR and overall infrastructure development, several notches higher,” Ang said.

A modern train system, MRT-7 will have electric power systems, computer and communications systems, signaling systems, and automatic fare systems, among others.

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