08 FEBRUARY 2018, MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Rail operator Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) recently signed a P450-million agreement with engineering and industrial company Voith Digital Solutions Austria GmBH and Co KG for the rehabilitation and upgrade of the generation-2 trains of Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1).
According to LRMC President and Chief Executive Officer Juan F. Alfonso, Voith will be re-engineering 24 generation-2 light rail vehicles (LRVs) over the next two years of six train sets.
“The rehabilitation of the 24 LRVs will expand capacity which should result in faster travel time because of reduced train headway and queueing time,” Alfonso said. “This is another step that will significantly improve our passengers’ daily commute.”
The project will be the first overhaul of the Generation 2 fleet’s propulsion system since the Philippine Government bought the generation-2 trains from Hyundai and Adtranz Sweden in 1999.
The current fleet of LRT-1 includes 51 generation-1 LRVs bought in 1984, eight generation-2 LRVs bought in 1999, and 44 generation-3 LRVs bought in 2007. Last month, the Department of Transportation signed the procurement of 120 new LRVs for delivery in 2020.
LRMC has already completed the P1 billion rehabilitation program on Generation 1 LRVs, resulting in the increase of the fleet from 77 to 109 LRVs and the number of daily trips from 498 to 554. As such, interval between trains and queueing time have been reduced.
In less than two years since assuming management of LRT-1, LRMC was able to improve efficiencies that increased the number of trains and trips, reduced passenger waiting time, increased ridership, increased customer satisfaction, improved safety and cleanliness of the stations, and the achievement of ISO certifications for quality management and environmental management–all milestones in the 32-year history of Manila’s oldest light rail system.