TRANSPORT officials on Wednesday said about 3,600 passengers were affected when the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) temporarily suspended its operations in the morning due to a signaling problem.
“When we started the operations as early as 5:00 a.m., when the train was about to reach Shaw Boulevard, it encountered a signaling problem,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Oscar B. Bongon said during a press briefing.
“We suspended the operations in order to check the signaling problem,” he noted. “At about 6:52 a.m., the signaling team was able to normalize all the indications, and we resumed the normal operations at 6:58 a.m.”
Schools and offices reopened on Wednesday after a four-day weekend with Monday declared as a special holiday this year while Nov. 1 is an annual holiday in observance of All Saints’ Day.
Mr. Bongon said they deployed additional trains on Wednesday following the glitch.
“Normally we deploy 18 trains; but to address the impact on passengers, we added two more trains to cater to the volume of the passengers,” he said.
Mr. Bongon admitted that the MRT-3 management was unable to immediately issue an advisory to inform incoming passengers about the suspension.
“The intervention took a while. They were thinking that operations could be immediately resumed,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
MRT-3 traverses over the main thoroughfare EDSA in the capital region. It has 13 stations with North and Taft Avenues as endpoints.
Meanwhile, some trips of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) were also affected after a derailment incident that occurred at around 6:00 a.m.
PNR Operations Department Manager Joseline A. Geronimo said around 500 passengers were affected by the incident.
In the same briefing, Ms. Geronimo explained that the derailment at the Magsaysay Crossing near the Sta. Mesa Station was due to the softening of the soil base following days of rains, including those brought by Tropical Storm Nalgae, locally named Paeng.
Six trips were affected: four going to Alabang, Bicutan, and Biñan; and two going to Tutuban.
Normal operations resumed at around 8:00 a.m., she said.
The state-run PNR has an operational line from Caloocan in the northern part of Metro Manila going south to Calamba, Laguna. — Arjay L. Balinbin