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SMC starts installation of first MRT7 train sets from Korea

San Miguel Corp. — the private proponent for the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT7) — over the weekend installed the first train sets from South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem in Quezon City.

The two train sets, consisting of three cars each, were dispatched to the MRT7 trackers between the University Avenue and Tandang Sora after they cleared by the Bureau of Customs at the Port of Manila.

“Our engineers and workers assigned to unload the trains have been at the site since early Saturday morning and will be there until the whole process is completed the following day,” SMC President Ramon Ang said in a statement.

“We have to be very thorough during the whole process to ensure that it is done efficiently and quickly while inspections are continuously being done,” he added.

Each train is 65.45 meters long, longer than the entire length of an Olympic-sized swimming pool of 50 meters. More trains are set to arrive in the following months leading up to 2022.

Six train sets are expected to arrive by the end of the year, and more in the next year until all 108 cars or 36 train sets are delivered.

“We are working round-the-clock to meet the first test run by next year. We know that our countrymen are eagerly awaiting the formal opening of the MRT7 so that they can experience faster, more efficient, and comfortable travel,” Ang said.

“This is even more crucial during the pandemic when additional transportation options are required to bring people safely to work and back to their homes,” he added.

Officials of the then-Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), SMC, and then-President Benigno Aquino III broke ground for the project in April 2016.

The Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Center pegs the project at P754.544 billion, as an unsolicited proposal under a 25-year build-gradual transfer-operate and maintain structure.

The project involves the financing, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of the 23-kilometer elevated railway that will have 14 stations connecting San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan to the MRT3 North Avenue station in Quezon City.

It will also have a 22-kilometer asphalt road from the Bocaue Interchange of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) to the intermodal terminal in Tala, diverting northern provincial bus operations to San Jose Del Monte in a bid to decongest EDSA.

SMC said the project is currently at 55.3% completion, with the installation of bored piles, girders, and other foundational works already completed.

Shares in SMC closed Monday at P115.50 apiece, down by P1.90 or 1.62% from last Friday’s finish of P117.40. —Jon Viktor D. Cabuenas/KBK, GMA News