Private operator of LRT-1 Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), has announced that the first of its Generation-4 (Gen-4) train sets arrived in the Philippines last 18 January 2021. It was formally launched to the public on 26 January 2021 at the Manila Harbor Center in an unveiling ceremony attended by distinguished guests from both the private and public sectors.
The state-of-the-art passenger train sets measure 106 meters in length and 2.59 meters in width, with maximum design speeds of up to 70 kph. Each train set consists of 4 light rail vehicles (LRVs) and can accommodate over 1,300 passengers per trip. The 4th Gen LRVs have destination signs to inform passengers if the trains heading north or south. Inside, the driver station features a modern design, and there is monitor that shows the temperature inside each LRV. The new train set is PWD-friendly with special areas for wheelchairs.
The planning and design of the 4th Generation Light Rail Vehicles for LRT-1 began in 2018. Spanish railway vehicle company, Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) started the production of 30 train sets in Spain and Mexico in 2019 through a tender spearheaded by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
In his keynote message, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said “This project is starting to bear fruit and be a reality that all of us can be truly, truly proud of. Today, the trains are starting to come and every quarter they will come. And by May of 2022, we would have met the delivery of 30 train sets. The Duterte administration is making sure that the promises made 19 years ago will materialize, will certainly materialize, and will truly materialize.”
“Today, that is what we are gathering for – telling the people ito na yung tren, ito na yung proyekto. Yung duda at agam-agam, palitan niyo ng dasal at suporta upang kayo ay kaisa at katulong natin upang mabigyan ng katotohanan ang proyektong ito. We will continue to make our commitment stronger than ever before that we are all mandated to make the Filipino life comfortable,” DOTr Secretary Tugade shared.
The train sets will arrive in batches, with at least 1 train set arriving every month until May 2022. The trains will each have to undergo safety checks, inspections, and required test runs with minimum kilometers and acceptance tests before being deployed for revenue operations.
LRMC President and CEO Juan Alfonso shared the project brief and updates on the ongoing LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project in the same unveiling ceremony. “LRMC is honored to be working closely with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) in planning and preparing for this much-awaited milestone for LRT-1. Today is an excellent showcase of how a strong partnership between the public and private sectors can benefit our Filipino commuters. Through our work in upgrading the LRT-1 system, we hope to make a difference in what we do and contribute to making our country better for the next generation.”
“We live in an exciting time for our railway industry. We have to sustain this momentum, and continue building for future growth,” Mr. Alfonso added.
Since the start of the civil works in September 2019, the project completion rate has already reached 50%. To date, bored piling works have been started at the Redemptorist and City of Dreams areas. The following have also been completed: 100% of Dr. Santos station foundation, 80% of MIA Station foundation, 50% of bored piling works, 30% of pier column installation. Bored piling works are also ongoing along Paranaque River. We have casted 28% of the pi-girders and launched 10.34% of the pi-girders.
The 11.7-kilometer LRT-1 Cavite Extension Project is expected to service and benefit 800,000 passengers daily by cutting down the travel time between Baclaran and Bacoor from 1 hour and 10 minutes to just about 25 minutes. Total travel time for the full line from Quezon City to Cavite will take about 70 minutes.