Dalian trains will have their own maintenance areas and equipment, which will be provided at no extra cost, the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) said.
In an interview, MRT-3 Director for Operations engineer Michael Capati, said a new maintenance area will be required once the Dalian trains are approved for full operation, following talks with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Dalian, and maintenance provider Sumitomo-MHI-TESP (Sumitomo).
“Ang nakikita namin diyan, possible gagawa ng panibagong area para sa (What we’re seeing here is we will possibly require a new area for) Dalian trains if we decide to continue with that,” Capati said.
He noted that all costs relating to maintenance or compatibility of the Dalian trains to the MRT-3 will be at no extra cost, being covered by the PHP3.8-billion contract that Dalian signed with the Aquino administration in 2014.
“Kung ano pong additional equipment o dapat gawin para i-correct at i-adjust sa sistema ng MRT-3, wala pong gagastusin ang gobyerno. Kahit singko (Whatever additional equipment or other things that need to be done in the MRT-3 system, there will be no cost on the part of the government, not even 5 centavos),” Capati said.
However, the rail transit official clarified that the use of the Dalian trains and the installation of a new maintenance area would need to be discussed with Sumitomo before the matter is closed.
“Yun yung pag-uusapan namin kasi sa ngayon po, hindi namin pwedeng i-close yan ng kami lang ng DOTr saka ng Dalian. Kasi meron dapat say ang Sumitomo diyan (That will be discussed because as of now, we cannot close this with only DOTr and Dalian because Sumitomo has to have a say in the matter),” Capati said.
He said the limited deployment of Dalian trains — one Dalian train set with three coaches during the off-peak hours of 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. — was due to the incompatibility of the Dalian trains with the maintenance equipment of the MRT-3 and its maintenance provider.
“Yun pong sa ating maintenance equipment, yan po yung pinag-aaralan ngayon. Kaya nga po kung mapapansin ninyo, limited lang po muna ang dinedeploy nating Dalian (With regards to our maintenance equipment, that’s what we are studying now. If you’ll notice, we only have a limited deployment of the Dalian trains),” Capati said.
To make the limited operation of Dalian trains possible, the MRT-3 said a pocket track within its depot has been temporarily designated as the maintenance area of the Dalian trains.
“Meron po kaming pocket track sa depot. Meron po kaming lugar sa depot na dun po namin ginagawa yung maintenance ng Dalian po now (We have a pocket track at the depot. We have a place at the depot where we perform maintenance on Dalian trains),” Capati said.
He added that since the down payment of PHP600 million by the previous administration, the government has spent no money on the Dalian trains.
“Wala pa po tayong dinadagdag na bayad diyan. Yung initial na binayad lang doon sa mga previous administration (We have not made any additional payment. It was only the initial payment made by the previous administration),” Capati said.
On Monday, maintenance provider Sumitomo signed an agreement for an initial deployment of one Dalian train set beginning October 15 to be deployed every night until rail replacement works start in November.
Capati said rail replacement works will be performed during off-hours and will be completed by July 2021 as part of the comprehensive rehabilitation of the MRT-3. (PNA)