“No way will I delay any further. No way will I procrastinate. It is high time to put this project in high motion."
Manila's Department of Transportation has signed a £1.98bn (30bn Yen) agreement with Mitsubishi and CAF to supply the Philippine capital with 120 cars for its Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line-1 from 2020.
Introduced over a two-year period, the 30 train sets are being brought in to alleviate the chronic congestion in the city that is among the most densely populated on the planet.
In addition to the new trains, the LRT – the oldest of Manila’s three metro lines – is also currently being extended south by 7.5m to Cavite Province, eventually boosting capacity on it by 60% from 500,000 to 800,000.
By electing to choose CAF for the manufacture of the trains for the elevated metro line, Mitsubishi has opened up a new market for the Spanish company, which has never supplied trains to the Philippines before. The trains will be fitted with technology mirroring that which is used on fleets in Japan – a country with a reputation for running incredibly efficient rail networks.
Offering some details on the upcoming trains, CAF said the new units will be able to run in either direction and have sixteen doors on each side, making embarking and alighting comfortable and safe. The 106-metre-long trains will be able to run at speeds of up to 43mph and have a 276-seat layout that will maximise capacity for standing passengers, providing an interior that is likely to be similar in feel to that of London’s Crossrail.
The secretary of the Manila Department of Transportation, Arthur Tugade, spoke effusively about the Mitsubishi-CAF deal, and would kick-start the city’s LRT line extension which he said “has been delayed for a long time”.
“No way will I delay any further. No way will I procrastinate. It is high time to put this project in high motion,” said Tugade.
The contract win for CAF comes during a busy period for CAF, which this year also secured deals to supply trams for networks in Stockholm, De Lijn (Belgium), Consenza (Italy), Seattle and Kansas. The company also recently signed a contract to supply the Naples Metro, in southern Italy, with 10 units of six cars to be delivered during 2019.
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