The Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) is set to restore its original operating speed by yearend following the recent completion of its rail replacement project.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said starting today, October 1, MRT-3 trains are set to travel at 40 kilometers per hour (kph), up from the current 30 kph.
This is a result of the installation of the new long-welded rails (LWRs) in all the MRT-3 stations as part of the massive rehabilitation program of the rail line, which is being implemented by Sumitomo-Mitsubishi Heavy of Japan.
The operating speed will gradually increase from 40 kph in October to 50 kph by November and 60 kph by December 2020.
Rail replacement works at MRT-3 continued during the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ, where 9,216 or 14 percent linear meters were completed.
Prior to the completion of installation of the new LWRs, average train speed was 30 kph with an average headway of 8.5 to 9 minutes for 20 trains.
With the improvement on the running speed, waiting time is expected to be shortened to 6.5 to 7 minutes.
Rail replacement works at the MRT-3 were finished last month, several months ahead of the February 2021 completion schedule.
It was on Sept. 9, 2013, when MRT-3 trains last ran at maximum speed. The rail system gradually reduced speeds due to the degrading condition of its tracks.
As Metro Manila remains under general community quarantine, rails like other modes of public transportation operate at limited capacity.
MRT-3 ferries 13 percent of its passenger capacity per train set, translating to 153 passengers (63 standing, 90 sitting).