Manila LRT Yellow Line - History


On July 12, 1980, by then the country's president, Ferdinand E. Marcos, created the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) as a government agency. The project was called Metrorail and was operated by a sister company of the former tramway company Meralco, called Metro, Inc.

Initial assistance for building the LRT project came from the Belgian government which granted a P300 million "soft" and interest-free loan with a repayment time of 30 years. The project was expected to pay for itself within a period of 20 years out of revenue alone. A Belgian consortium consisting of ACEC (Ateliers de Constructions Electriques de Charleroi, BN), (Constructions Ferroviaires et Metalliques, formerly Brugeoise et Nivelles), TEI (Tractionnel Engineering International) and TC (Transurb Consult) provided an additional loan of P700 million. The consortium provided the cars, signalling, power control, telecommunications, training and technical assistance.

Construction of the line started in October 1981, and was the responsibility of CDCP (Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines), with assistance from the Swiss firm of Losinger and the American company Dravo, the latter, through its Philippine subsidiary. The government appointed Electrowatt Engineering Services of Zurich (Switzerland) to manage and supervise the project.

Actual construction in Manila started in September 1981 at Taft Avenue between EDSA and Libertad. The first Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) arrived in Manila in November 1982 and construction of the Pasay Depot became the most vital task of the whole project.

Power was turned on in the Depot and became operational in December 1983. The LRVs began trial runs on the Taft Line in March 1984 and by September 1984 the Taft Line gave the public a view of what was to come by providing free public passenger rides for a one week period.

After September, there was a strong coordinated effort to finish all the remaining Taft Line work and finally, on December 1, 1984, the Taft Line was officially opened to public service.

Work on the Pasig River Bridge started in November 1984 with the super-structure floated out and put into place. By the end of January 1985, the bridge was completed and track laid across to join up with the track on the other side.

Previous to this, there had already been a major effort on the Rizal Line side, and with the Pasig River Bridge complete, speed trials began in February 1985. By April 1985, passenger service was extended into Carriedo, the downtown station, and one month later, on May 12, 1985, the Rizal Line was put into service.

To operate the System, a contract was entered into between the LRTA and a specially created new company METRO INC. - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Manila Electric Company. METRO's task would be to acquire the know-how of the new technology and develop an efficient, well-trained organization to operate the System and manage its day to day affairs and be responsible for all technical matters in the future.

The LRTA took over all System operations after the rank-and-file employees of METRO INC. staged a wildcat strike, destroyed some of LRTA's properties and paralyzed the entire operation of LRT Line 1 system from July 25 to August 2 of 2000.

Originally, Line 1 has a length of about 13.95 km and runs from Baclaran in Pasay City to Monumento in Caloocan City. Pasay City lies in the south-west section of Metro Manila, close to the airport. From there, the line runs in a north-western direction, parallel to the Manila Bay but at some distance from it along Taft Avenue to the Manila City Hall, where the central terminal is located, then through Arroceros Street, across the Pasig River, entering the Santa Cruz district at Feati University. From there, it follows Rizal Avenue and Rizal Avenue Extension in a northernly direction to Monumento in Caloocan City.

Under the LRT North Extension Project, a further 5.7 km elevated line has been constructed from Monumento Station of Line 1 to North Avenue of Line 3, with 3 additional stations namely: Balintawak, Roosevelt and a Common Station. The opening of Balintawak Station and Roosevelt Station on March 22, 2010 and October 22, 2010 respectively, has brought closer to the goal of "closing the loop", connecting LRT Line 1 from Baclaran to Roosevelt to the Metro Rail Transit that runs along EDSA.

Read more about this topic:  Manila LRT Yellow Line

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