Delivery of first MRT-7 trains from South Korea expected to arrive next week

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has announced that the first batch of trains for its MRT-7 project is set to arrive in the country from South Korea next week, even as work continues for the completion of the much-awaited mass rail project.

The trains, consisting of six cars or two trainsets procured from South Korea’s Hyundai ROTEM, have cleared inspections and factory acceptance testing with the country’s national rail manufacturer, Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL), serving as SMC’s adviser.

According to Hyundai Rotem’s website, their main business area is the manufacture and operation of rolling stock and railway systems, production of ground weapon systems, operated and unmanned weapon systems, construction of steelmaking facilities, car manufacturing plants, environmental plants, etc.

Each trainset is 65.45 meters long–or well over the entire length of an Olympic-size swimming pool, which is 50 meters.

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MRT-7 Trains from South Korea

MRT-7 Train cars (Photo courtesy of SMC)

“The timely arrival of these brand new, high-quality trains from South Korea–known as one of the world’s best train and rail systems builders–is such a welcome development, and I believe holds a lot of significance. At a time when many are feeling uncertain about our country’s future because of the pandemic, this shows that the job of nation-building continues; that the work of improving our infrastructure, boosting our economic growth prospects, and investing in our country’s brighter future, also doesn’t stop–especially for us in San Miguel,” said SMC president Ramon S. Ang.

More trains are set to arrive in the following months, up to next year, Ang said, until all 108 cars or 36 trainsets the company acquired are delivered.

According to reports, all 108 train cars of MRT-7 were completed last September 2019, but problems in the depot construction caused the trains to be stored for the meantime in Changwon, South Korea.

Despite continuing pandemic restrictions and pending right-of-way issues, the project itself is now at over 54% completion, with the installation of bored piles, girders, and other foundational works on a significant portion of the project, already completed.

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“Right now, construction activities on the guideway and the stations are ongoing. Electronic and mechanical works also continue. As we said before, the MRT-7 project is in many ways more difficult and complex than even our recently completed Skyway Stage 3–which in itself is an engineering feat. This is because MRT-7 has added complexities such as electric power systems, computer and communications systems, signaling systems, and automatic fare systems, among others,” Ang said.

“There are many causes of delay, from necessary pandemic restrictions to ROW issues, but as with all SMC projects, we apply 110% effort to all the areas we can work on to minimize delays. The most important thing is we don’t stop. We keep on progressing. We thank our national government, especially President Duterte, the DoTR, the DPWH, and the LGUs of Quezon City and Bulacan, for their continuing support for this project,” Ang added.

Read SMC to build new road, rail networks leading to Bulacan airport

Earlier, SMC reported that manufacturing of other important equipment needed for the MRT-7, which were all sourced from various countries, has also been completed.

Various other railway operations equipment such as those needed for automatic fare systems, communication systems, signaling systems, power supply systems, third rail, track works systems, and rolling stock maintenance equipment—used for the maintenance of trains–are also set to be delivered from various countries throughout the year.

The first test run of the project is set for December 2022.

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