More tests are needed to determine the suitability to the tracks of the 48 trains that were purchased from Dalian CCRC for the Metro Rail Transit 3.
In a statement, the Department of Transportation said that in the interim report of TUV Rheinland, the independent certifier contracted to audit and assess the entire MRT 3 system and the Dalian trains, a weighing test of the Dalian trains is recommended "because the previous project team for the project failed to attend and witness the weight testing done in China in November 2015."
“According to TUV Rheinland, the weighing test should be done to eliminate any doubts, and so DOTr MRT 3 can witness and formally sign off on the trains’ weight,” the DOTr said.
Additional information and documentation on the design of the trains are still being obtained while further type and routine tests are still to be conducted, based on TUV Rheinland’s interim report.
The DOTr said it would wait for the final report of the auditing firm and apply its recommendations as it takes the necessary steps to assess the functionality and safety of the Dalian trains.
“Assessing the Dalian trains’ safety, compatibility with MRT 3, and compliance with their Terms of Reference, through a highly qualified, independent, and ISO certified certifier, with extensive experience in the certification of trains, has always been the DOTr’s approach in resolving the Dalian trains issue, which is consistent with prudent international industry practice. Knowing that the Dalian trains will affect the safety of hundreds of thousands of MRT 3 passengers daily, the DOTr and MRT 3 management will ensure that the necessary processes are observed in their assessment,” the department said.
“We will not leave stones unturned, especially on the issue of safety. We will do it right this time,” it added.
Concerns were raised earlier with the 48 Dalian cars or light rail vehicles procured by the previous administration for P3.8 billion after they exceeded the weight prescribed. Compatibility with the MRT-3’s maintenance facilities and signaling system were also an issue.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade earlier said that MRT operations is expected to improve by April or May as spare parts which are necessary for the increase in the number of running trains are set to arrive in the country.