LRT Line 1 (Metro Manila)

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LRT Line 1
LRTA 13000 class train at Balintawak station, August 2023
Overview
StatusOperational
OwnerDepartment of Transportation
Light Rail Transit Authority
Line number1
LocaleMetro Manila, Philippines
Termini
Stations20
WebsiteLRTA, LRMC
Service
TypeLight rapid transit
SystemManila Light Rail Transit System
Services1
Operator(s)Light Rail Manila Corporation
Former operators
Depot(s)Baclaran
Zapote (future)
Rolling stockLRTA 1000 class
LRTA 1100 class
LRTA 1200 class
LRTA 13000 class
Daily ridership216,667 (2022)[1]
Ridership78 million (2022)[1]
History
OpenedDecember 1, 1984; 39 years ago (1984-12-01)[2]
Last extensionOctober 22, 2010; 13 years ago (2010-10-22)[3]
Technical
Line length19.65 km (12.21 mi)
Number of tracksDouble-track
CharacterElevated
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Loading gauge4,050 mm × 2,600 mm (13 ft 3 in × 8 ft 6 in)[4]
Minimum radiusMainline: 100 m (330 ft)
Depot: 25 m (82 ft)
Electrification750 V DC overhead lines[5]
Operating speed60 km/h (37 mph)
SignallingAlstom Atlas 100 ETCS Level 1[6][7]
Former systems
Maximum inclineMainline: 3.535%[9]
Depot spur line: 4%[9]
Average inter-station distance903.65 m (2,964.7 ft)
Route diagram

extension under construction
MMSLine 3  
North Avenue
3 (7  MMS )
under construction 
Fernando Poe Jr.
Balintawak
Monumento
5th Avenue
R. Papa
Abad Santos
Blumentritt
Tayuman
Bambang
Doroteo Jose
Recto
Carriedo
Central Terminal
Bus interchange ferry/water interchange
United Nations
Pedro Gil
Quirino
Vito Cruz
Gil Puyat
Bus interchange
Libertad
EDSA
Taft Avenue
Pasay Depot
Baclaran
extension under construction
Pasay
Parañaque
under
construction
 
Redemptorist
Manila International Airport Manila International Airport
Asia World
Bus interchange
Ninoy Aquino
Dr. Santos
Las Piñas
Zapote Depot
Zapote
Niog

The Light Rail Transit Line 1, commonly referred to as LRT Line 1 or LRT-1, is a light rapid transit system line in Metro Manila, Philippines, operated by Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) and owned by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) as part of the Manila Light Rail Transit System. Originally referred to as Metrorail and the Yellow Line, LRT Line 1 was reclassified to be the Green Line in 2012. It travels in a general north–south direction from Baclaran to Monumento, and then east–west from Monumento to Fernando Poe Jr.. Currently, the line consists of 20 stations and runs on 19.65 kilometers (12.21 miles) of fully elevated route. Although it has the characteristics of light rail, such as with the type of rolling stock used, it is more akin to a rapid transit system owing to its total grade separation and high passenger throughput.

First envisioned in a 1977 study conducted by Freeman Fox and Associates which suggested a street-level railway in Manila, the government revised this recommendation to an elevated system. In 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos created the LRTA and construction of the line began the following year. With its partial opening in 1984 and completion the following year, it became the first rapid transit service in Southeast Asia.[10] LRT Line 1 would become one of the busiest among Metro Manila's three rapid transit lines; it served 216,667 daily average passengers in 2022, making it the second-busiest, just behind the MRT Line 3.[1]

The line is integrated with the public transit system in Metro Manila, and passengers also take various forms of road-based public transport, such as buses and jeepneys, to and from a station to reach their intended destination. Although the line aimed to reduce traffic congestion and travel times in Metro Manila, the transportation system has only been partially successful due to the rising number of motor vehicles and rapid urbanization. Expanding the network's revenue line to accommodate more passengers, through extension projects,[11] is set on resolving this problem.[12]

Route[edit]

The line is predominantly aligned to the path of Taft Avenue (Radial Road 2) which was chosen largely due to its straight course. Later on, as Taft Avenue ends, it shifts to Rizal Avenue and Rizal Avenue Extension (Radial Road 9) then turning right on EDSA before ending at the corner of North and West Avenues and EDSA. The line links the cities of Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, and Pasay, with the upcoming stations passing through the cities of Parañaque, Las Piñas, and Bacoor in Cavite.

Stations[edit]

The line serves 20 stations along its route. A twenty-first station is yet to be constructed.[13] Eight stations which are part of the south extension are also set to be constructed south of Baclaran. Malvar station in Caloocan was previously proposed during the construction of the northern extension located between Monumento and Balintawak, becoming a bargaining object during the entire extension line's construction in the jurisdiction of Caloocan. However, the planned Malvar station was completely shelved by the Aquino administration.[14]

Three stations serve as connecting stations between other lines in the metro. Doroteo Jose is indirectly connected to the Recto of the LRT Line 2 through a covered walkway; Blumentritt is immediately above its PNR Metro Commuter Line counterpart; and EDSA is connected to the Taft Avenue station via a covered walkway. No stations are connected to other rapid transit lines within the paid areas, though that is set to change when the North Triangle Common Station, which has interchanges to MRT Line 3 and MRT Line 7, opens in 2023.

Legend
Existing terminus
List of stations
Name Distance (km) Connections Location
Between
stations
Total
North Triangle
Interchange with Metro interchange Manila MRT
  •  18   33   64  SM North EDSA
Quezon City
Fernando Poe Jr. 0.000
  •  1  Roosevelt Avenue
Balintawak 1.870 1.870
  •  1  Balintawak Interchange
  •  5   8   9   13   19   20   21   22   37   38   40   52  Ayala Malls Cloverleaf
Monumento 2.250 4.120
  •  1  Monumento
Caloocan
5th Avenue 1.087 5.207
  •  8   14   35   42   54  5th Avenue
R. Papa 0.954 6.161
  •  8   42   54  R. Papa
Manila
Abad Santos 0.660 6.821
  •  8   42   54  Hermosa Street
Blumentritt 0.927 7.748
  •  42  Blumentritt
Tayuman 0.671 8.419
  •  42  Tayuman
Bambang 0.618 9.037
  •  42  Bambang Street
Doroteo Jose 0.648 9.685
Carriedo 0.685 10.370
  • Escolta Ferry Station
Central Terminal 0.725 11.095
  • Lawton Ferry Station
United Nations 1.214 12.309
Pedro Gil 0.754 13.063
Quirino 0.794 13.857
Vito Cruz 0.827 14.684
Gil Puyat 1.061 15.745
Pasay
Libertad 0.730 16.475
EDSA 1.010 17.485
  •  1  Taft Avenue
Baclaran 0.588 18.073
Redemptorist
  •  35   49  Baclaran
Parañaque
Manila International Airport
  •  35   49  MIA Road
Asia World
Ninoy Aquino
Dr. Santos
Las Piñas Las Piñas
Zapote
Bacoor, Cavite
Niog
Proposed interchange with Metro interchange Manila LRT
Stations, lines, and/or other transport connections in italics are either under construction, proposed, unopened, or have been closed.

Operations and services[edit]

The line operates from 4:30 a.m. PST (UTC+8) until 10:15 p.m. on weekdays, and 5:00 a.m. until 9:45 p.m on weekends and holidays.[15] It operates almost every day of the year unless otherwise announced. Special schedules are announced via the PA system in every station and also in newspapers and other mass media. During Holy Week, a public holiday in the Philippines, the rail line is closed for annual maintenance, owing to fewer commuters and traffic around the metro. Normal operation resumes after Easter Sunday.[16] During the Christmas and year-end holidays, the operating hours of the line are shortened due to the low ridership of the line during the holidays.[17]

History[edit]

Planning and funding[edit]

LRTA Class 1000 being built in Bruges in 1982

The 1977 Metro Manila Transport, Land Use and Development Planning Project (MMETROPLAN), a fourteen-month study conducted by Freeman Fox and Associates and funded by the World Bank, recommended the construction of a street-level light rail line in Manila. Following a review by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, later the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the proposal was revised to an elevated railway in order to avoid building over the city's many intersections,[18] while the option of constructing the line underground was also rejected due to the high water table in Manila.[19] This raised the project's cost from ₱1.5 billion to ₱2 billion. An alignment along Rizal and Taft avenues, which spanned from Monumento, Caloocan in the north to Baclaran, Pasay in the south, was selected because it followed a relatively straight path for most of its route.[18]: 36  On July 12, 1980, President Ferdinand Marcos created the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) and assigned First Lady and Governor of Metro Manila Imelda Marcos as its chairman. While the LRTA confined its roles to policy making, fare regulation, and future planning, the line's operations were assigned to Metro, Inc., a sister company of Meralco. The line came to be referred to as Metrorail.[20]

The Belgian Government granted a ₱300 million soft and interest-free loan for the project's construction, with a repayment period of 30 years. Additional funding was later sourced from a ₱700 million loan, provided by a Belgian consortium consisting of ACEC, La Brugeoise et Nivelles, Tractionnel Engineering International, and Transurb Consult. The consortium also supplied the line's first light rail vehicles, power control, signalling, and telecommunications, as well as provided training and technical assistance. Designed as a public utility rather than a profit center, the line was expected to incur a deficit through 1993, but complete its repayments within a period of 20 years.[20]

Construction and opening[edit]

The government-owned Construction Development Corporation of the Philippines was the project's sole contractor.[18]: 36  Single column cast-in-place concrete piers carrying precast concrete T-girders and a concrete deck slab were used for the original line from Monumento to Baclaran. The columns are spaced apart by 20 to 27 meters (66 to 88 ft) rising from a cap on top of bored or driven concrete piles. Four of the 2.1-meter (7 ft) wide girders are side by side in each span to accommodate bidirectional standard-gauge railway tracks located 6.1 meters (20 ft) above the street level.[19]

Driven piles were originally used for 80 percent of the project, with spread footings being used for the remaining portion. However, during construction, it was determined that bored piles should be utilized in some areas to mitigate noise and avoid potential damage to nearby buildings. Additionally, the original use of stockpiled precast piles caused clutter on the streets during construction.[19]

In 1981, an economic recession hit the country and the government's were unable to provide counterpart funds for civil works and right-of-way acquisition, which amounted to 60 percent of the project's total cost, led to a delay in construction.[21]: 170  Work finally resume after the Economic Recession and the EDSA Revolution in September of that year along Taft Avenue, between Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) and Libertad Street.[22] In order to make way for Carriedo station and a segment of tracks approaching the Pasig River, a department store and a classroom building owned by FEATI University were demolished.[18]: 36 

The southern section, between the Baclaran and United Nations stations, was inaugurated on September 11, 1984, by President Ferdinand Marcos. Commercial operations along this section commenced on December 1. The line became fully operational on May 12, 1985, when the northern section between Central Terminal and Monumento opened. During the first several years, two-car trains that could accommodate up to 748 passengers were utilized. This amounted to a capacity of 20,000 passengers per direction.[23]

Capacity expansions[edit]

First phase[edit]

The trains procured under the first phase of the capacity expansion in November 2006.

Line 1 would eventually reach capacity in the 1990s due to traffic congestion and air pollution. The line fell so far into disrepair due to premature wear and tear that trains headed to Central Terminal station had to slow to a crawl to avoid further damage to the support beams below as cracks reportedly began to appear.[18] The premature aging of Line 1 led to an extensive refurbishing and structural capacity expansion program with a help of Japan's official development assistance.[12]

The capacity expansion project was one of the flagship projects of the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos.[12] A loan agreement for the first phase of the capacity expansion project was signed in 1994.[12] In August 1996, a consortium of Marubeni Corporation, Adtranz, and ABB was awarded the contract and was signed the following September.[24][25] The project, undertaken at a cost of ₱4.1 billion,[26] involves the procurement of seven four-car trains that were ordered from Hyundai Precision, and the refurbishment and conversion of the original two-car trains into three-car trains in 1999. In line with the introduction of the four-car trains, the station platforms were also extended.[12] The project was completed in 2002.[12]

During the first phase of the capacity expansion, a labor strike was launched by employees of Meralco Transit Organization (METRO, Inc.) in July 2000 as their operations and maintenance contract with the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) was about to expire. It paralyzed the operations of the line for a week. The LRTA decided not to renew its contract with METRO, Inc. that expired on July 31, 2000, and the former assumed operational responsibility,[27] LRTA undertook this responsibility until September 12, 2015, when the operations and maintenance of the line were privated to the Light Rail Manila Corporation for thirty-two years as part of the line's south extension.

Second phase[edit]

The trains procured under the second phase of the capacity expansion undergoing a test run in November 2006.

Another capacity expansion project was initiated in April 2000 during the administration of President Joseph Estrada due to the high demand of passengers in line with the completion of the MRT Line 3 (and eventually, LRT Line 2).[28][26] Funded through an ₱8.893-billion loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation,[29] the second phase of the capacity expansion project was divided into two packages. Package A involves the procurement of twelve four-car trains, upgrades to the signalling and communications equipment, and upgrades to the stations and depot. Package B, on the other hand, involves the procurement and installation of air conditioning units for the 1000 class trains, replacement of faulty air conditioning units of the 1100 class trains, renovation of 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) of railway track and railway sleepers, and procurement of equipment and spare parts used for track works. The installation of equipment for the automatic fare collection system was also included in the capacity expansion project.[28]

North extension[edit]

Balintawak station, one of the two stations constructed under the north extension project in 2016.

With the completion of the first phase of the MRT Line 3 in 1999, there were plans to extend Line 3 towards Monumento station (Phase 2) to create a seamless rail loop around Metro Manila.[30] However, the extension was shelved by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in favor of a 5.7-kilometer (3.5-mile) extension of the LRT-1 to the MRT-3 North Avenue station. The project involved the construction of three stations: Balintawak, Roosevelt (renamed Fernando Poe Jr.) , and a common station at North Avenue. However, due to disputes in the common station's location, the station would only begin construction in 2017. This was also known as the MRT–LRT Closing the Loop project.

In September 2008, then-mayor of Caloocan Enrico Echiverri, petitioned the government to construct Malvar station, an intemediary station between Balintawak and Monumento.[31] Two months later, two thousand residents from Barangay Bagong Barrio, where the station would be built, staged a protest along EDSA to urge the government to build the station.[32] Malvar station would eventually be approved in July 2009.[33] Though it was reported that the feasibility study for the station was completed,[34] construction has yet to start.

Construction eventually began in June 2008.[35] The joint venture of DMCI and First Balfour built the viaduct and the two stations,[36] while the electrical and mechanical systems contracts were assigned to different contractors.[34][37]

The project was intended to integrate the LRT Line 1 and MRT Line 3 operations. Structure gauge tests were eventually conducted in the extension by February 2010, which found that the LRT Line 1 trains can run on MRT Line 3 tracks.[38] On February 25, 2010, as part of the 24th anniversary of the People Power Revolution, President Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro rode an MRT-3 train from Santolan to North Avenue before transferring to a Line 1 train that passed along the extension until Monumento.[39] Balintawak station opened on March 22, 2010,[40] while FPJ station opened seven months later, on October 22.[3]

To integrate the operations of the LRT Line 1 and MRT Line 3, the then-Department of Transportation and Communications, under Secretary Jose de Jesus, launched an auction for a temporary five-year operations and maintenance contract for the two lines. The bidding was set by July 2011. Over 21 companies from around the world expressed interest to bid which included Metro Pacific Investments, Sumitomo Corporation, Siemens, DMCI Holdings, San Miguel Corporation, and others.[41] After de Jesus resigned from the DOTC,[42] his successor, Mar Roxas, halted the auction process and was later shelved.[43]

An extension to the North Triangle Common Station is set to open in 2023.

Privatization[edit]

A plan to privatize the line was pursued as part of the south extension project. The bidding was set for August 2013, but failed.[44] The project was rebidded, and on September 12, 2014, the operation and maintenance of LRT Line 1 and the construction of a ₱65 billion extension project to Bacoor, Cavite was awarded to the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), a joint venture company of Metro Pacific's Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation's AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure's Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIHPL) (with Sumitomo Corporation following in May 2020).[45][46] The consortium signed a concession agreement with the DOTr and LRTA on October 2, 2014.[47][48] LRMC contracted the operation and maintenance of the line for 20 years to RATP Dev under its subsidiary RATP Dev Transdev Asia, a joint venture between Transdev and RATP Dev on December 8, 2014.[49][50] The 32-year concession started on September 12, 2015.

Rehabilitation[edit]

A rail replacement program commenced in 2016, as a continuation of the previous rail replacement program completed by the Light Rail Transit Authority.[51] LRMC signed a contract with First Balfour for the structural restoration project of Line 1 on April 19, 2017,[52] and in November 2018, LRMC tapped First Balfour and MRail, a subsidiary of Meralco for the rehabilitation of rectifier substations.[53]

LRMC has also rehabilitated the first and second-generation trains to add more trains servicing the line.[54][55]

Station facilities, amenities, and services[edit]

Baclaran station, the line's southern terminus, in 2008

All stations in Line 1 are elevated, with the exception of Zapote station.

Station layout and accessibility[edit]

Most stations are composed of only one level, accessible from the street below by stairway, containing the station's concourse and platform areas separated by fare gates. Some stations tend to have a concourse level below the platforms. The single-level stations of Line 1, however, was not built with accessibility in mind, due to the lack of barrier-free facilities such as escalators and elevators. Some stations, such as Monumento and EDSA, are connected at concourse level to nearby buildings, such as shopping malls, for easier accessibility. Some trains have spaces for passengers using wheelchairs.

As of November 8, 2009, folding bicycles are allowed to be brought into trains provided that it does not exceed the LRTA's baggage size limitations of 2 by 2 feet (20 by 20 in).[56] The last car of each train are also designated as "green zones", where folding bicycle users can ride with their bikes.[57]

All stations have side platforms except for Baclaran, which has one side and one island platform. Due to the high patronage of the line, part of the platform corresponding to the front car of the train is cordoned off for the use of women, children, elderly and disabled passengers.[58]

Shops and services[edit]

Inside the concourse of some stations are stalls or shops where people can buy food or drinks. Stalls vary by station, and some have fast food stalls. The number of stalls also varies by station, and some stations tend to have a wide variety.

Stations such as Monumento and Baclaran are connected to or are near shopping malls and/or other large shopping areas, where commuters are offered more shopping varieties.

Ridership[edit]

The current designed daily ridership of the line is 560,000 passengers[59] and currently aims to increase the number of passengers being served on the line to more than 800,000 passengers, as the line's south extension is set to be fully operational by 2027.

On January 9, 2012, the line served a record 620,987 passengers during the Feast of the Black Nazarene (Carriedo station is near to the Quiapo Church), and since the day falls on a working weekday.[60] In 2018, the line carried 300,000 to 500,000 passengers daily, due to the increased number of trains, from 86 vehicles to 113 vehicles available for daily trips. This gradually reduces the waiting time of passengers from 5 minutes to as much as 2 to 3.5 minutes.[61][62] It also carried as much as 14.63 million passengers monthly in 2018.[61] However, as of 2023, the waiting time has been officially reported at 5 to 6 minutes.[63]

Rolling stock[edit]

Different types of rolling stock at the line's depot in Baclaran, Pasay. The newer fourth-generation trains are the red trains on the right.

The line at various stages in its history has used different configurations of two-car, three-car, and four-car trainsets. The two-car trains are the original first-generation BN and ACEC trains (railway cars numbered from 1000). Most were transformed into three-car trains, although some two-car trains remain in service. The four-car trains are the more modern second-generation Hyundai Precision / Adtranz (1100), third-generation Kinki Sharyo / Nippon Sharyo (1200), and fourth-generation Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) / Mitsubishi (13000) trains.[64][65][66] There are 259 railway cars grouped into 70 trains serving the line: 63 of these are first-generation cars, 28 second-generation, 48 third-generation, and 120 fourth-generation. Some of the cars, especially those from 1st generation, were decommissioned due to them being cannibalized or involved in accidents. Such as 1037, which was severely damaged in the Rizal Day bombings in 2000, it was subsequently decommissioned afterwards and eventually scrapped.[5][67]

The maximum design speed of these cars ranges between 60 and 70 kilometers per hour (37 and 43 mph), but only run at a maximum operational speed of 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour).[68][69] Until 2011, all trains ran at the maximum speed until it was downgraded to 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles per hour) due to the deteriorating condition of the railway tracks, except for the north extension which continued running on the 60 km/h (37 mph) maximum speed. After a three-year rail replacement program, the operating speed was restored to 60 km/h (37 mph) on April 5, 2021.[70]

The line's fleet is being modernized to cope with increasing numbers of passengers. In the initial phase of its capacity expansion program completed in 1999, the line's seven four-car second-generation trains were commissioned providing an increased train capacity of 1,358 passengers while the original two-car trains capable of holding 748 passengers were transformed into three-car trains with room for 1,122.[64] As part of the second phase of expansion, twelve new trains made in Japan by Kinki Sharyo and Nippon Sharyo were purchased in 2005 and were introduced in December 2006, providing a capacity of 1,388 passengers.[29][65][71][72] The fourth-generation trains, ordered in 2017 with Japanese funding for the south extension to replace the first-generation trains,[73][74][75][76] were delayed in deployment due to the need to rectify factory defects in the roofs of the units that went undetected prior to delivery due to the inability to conduct factory inspections during the COVID-19 pandemic.[77] Rectification works were conducted with costs shouldered by the manufacturer. The new train sets entered revenue service on July 20, 2023.[78]

Prior to 1999, the first-generation trains were notorious for its lack of air conditioning, relying instead on forced-air roof ventilation for cooling.[79] This however resulted in hot and stuffy rides. Although the entry of the second-generation trains in 1999 marked the introduction of air-conditioned trains in the line, the problem was fully addressed after a preparatory rehabilitation program completed in 2001 allowed the installation of air conditioners to the older rolling stock in 2004.[80][81][82]

LRMC has also built an in-house laboratory for production, manufacturing, fabrication and repair of train parts that are no longer available in the market.[83]

The Passenger Assist Railway Display System, a passenger information system powered by LCD screens installed near the ceiling of the train that shows news, advertisements, current train location, arrivals and station layouts, are already installed in the third-generation trains, along with the trains of Line 2 and the first-generation trains of Line 3. As of the 4th quarter of 2023, these units were discreetly removed and prior to removal, were no longer operating.

Rolling stock of LRT Line 1
First-generation LRTA 1000 class (1984)
Second-generation LRTA 1100 class (1999)
Third-generation LRTA 1200 class (2006)
Fourth-generation LRTA 13000 class (2023)

Depot[edit]

The line maintains an at-grade depot in Baclaran, Pasay. It serves as the center of the operations and maintenance of the line. It is connected to the mainline through a spur line. Before its expansion, the depot had a capacity of 145 light rail vehicles and an area of 6.4 hectares (16 acres).[84] It was expanded to an area of 10.6 hectares (26 acres) to accommodate 197 vehicles, with Shimizu Corporation and First Balfour implementing the project.[85] Expansion works were completed after the depot was inaugurated on February 23, 2022.[86]

A satellite depot is being constructed in Zapote as part of the line's south extension project. When completed, the satellite depot will handle 72 light rail vehicles.[85]

Other infrastructure[edit]

Signalling[edit]

New Alstom signal lights

Throughout its history, the line used different signalling systems. The line currently uses the Alstom Atlas 100 solution based on ETCS Level 1.

The original signalling system used in the LRT Line 1 was based on fixed block and relay type trackside systems. Trains had an automatic train stop system that activates if the train passes by a red signal or over-speeding. Based on a procurement plan published by the Light Rail Transit Authority, most of the signalling equipment, including track circuits, were supplied by ACEC.[8]

In 2007, as part of a capacity expansion project, the signalling system was replaced with a signalling and train control system based on automatic train protection (ATP) and automatic train supervision (ATS) using Siemens technology. The ATP system monitors the speed of the trains, while the ATS system directs train operations. Prior to the 2022 upgrade, the signalling system was designed to operate at a headway of 112 seconds.[5][87] Aside from the ATP and ATS systems, its subsystems include train detection through axle counters, and microprocessor-based interlocking.[87]

The signalling system was again upgraded as part of the line's south extension. Alstom was awarded a contract in February 2016 to supply the signalling and communications systems for the line.[7] Alstom supplied the Atlas 100 solution based on ETCS Level 1. The testing and commissioning phase of the upgraded signalling system started in November 2021 and was completed on February 1, 2022.[6]

Tracks[edit]

twinblock ties employed on the Direct fixation tracks (left) and Ballast tracks (right)

The tracks have two types: ballasted and slab tracks. Ballasted sections are found in the original 13.95-kilometer (8.67-mile) section from Baclaran to Monumento, while slab tracks are found in the north extension. The tracks are supported by twin-block concrete railroad ties, and have a track center distance of 3.2 meters (10 feet).[87][88]

The tracks in the original 13.95-kilometer (8.67-mile) line consist of 50-kilogram-per-meter (100-pound-per-yard) rails designed to the EB 50T rail profile, while the tracks in the future extension line consist of 54-kilogram-per-meter (110-pound-per-yard) rails designed to the UIC 54 rail profile.[9]

Due to the deterioration of the rail tracks in the original line, speed restrictions were implemented in 2011 except for the north extension.[70] In 2012, a contract to replace 23 kilometers (14 miles) of rails was awarded to the joint venture of Oriental and Motolite Marketing Corporation, Korail, Erin-Marty Fabricators Company, Inc., and Jorgman Construction and Development Corporation.[89] However, there were delays in the project implementation until February 2014, when the then-Department of Transportation and Communications issued a notice to proceed for the joint venture.[90] The first phase of the replacement started in 2014,[91] while the rails at Monumento station were replaced in March 2015.[92] The first phase of the rail replacement was completed in December 2015.[51] The second and final phase of replacement works commenced in August 2016 by the Light Rail Manila Corporation,[51] which contracted Joratech[93] to replace 26 kilometers (16 miles) of rails[51] and was completed in 2017.[94] This was intended to increase the operating speed from 40 kilometers per hour (25 miles per hour) to 60 kilometers per hour (37 miles per hour) and was achieved on April 5, 2021.[70]

Extensions[edit]

South extension[edit]

Construction of the Cavite Extension Project viaduct along Ninoy Aquino Avenue in July 2021.
The girder launcher along Radial Road 1 approaching Roxas Boulevard in November 2021.
Construction of Manuyo Uno station viaduct along C-5 Road Extension in April 2023.
Construction of Manila Line 1 south extension depot (Manuyo Uno station) along C-5 Road Extension in April 2023.

An extension of LRT Line 1 to the south, known as the South Extension Project or the Cavite Extension Project, is under construction and will serve the areas of Parañaque to Cavite.[95] The extension will span from the Quirino Avenue, Harrison Avenue, and Taft Avenue Extension intersection, then would travel down from Redemptorist Road, Roxas Boulevard, and Manila–Cavite Expressway, afterwards, it will traverse through the Parañaque River and will enter Ninoy Aquino Avenue until reaching and traversing the C5 Extension Road; and will once again enter Coastal Road, crossing the Las Piñas-Bacoor Boundary Bridge along the Zapote River, and traverse through the Alabang–Zapote Road and Aguinaldo Highway intersection, until reaching the Niog station located along the Bacoor Boulevard at Bacoor, Cavite. The extension project would add 8 stations covering 11.7 kilometers (7.3 miles) of new elevated railway sections and would be the third rail line extending outside the Metro Manila area (after the east extension of Line 2 and the construction of Line 7).[95] The project is divided in two phases—Phase 1 covers five stations from Redemptorist to Dr. Santos, while Phase 2 covers the remaining three stations from Las Piñas to Niog.[11]

The original plan for the line's extension as the MRT Line 6, which was identified in the Metro Manila Urban Transportation Integration Study Master Plan by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1999, would have constructed a 12 to 15-kilometer elevated railway from Baclaran to Imus, with extensions leading to Cavite City (10.0 km), Dasmariñas (14.5 km), Airport, Sucat (9.0 km), and Alabang (12.0 km).[96][97] However, the project never materialized.

The project was first approved by the National Economic and Development Authority in 2000, while the Implementing Agreement for the project was approved in 2002, to be undertaken by SNC-Lavalin as a public-private partnership project.[98][99] The proposal however was subsequently terminated in 2006.[100] In the same year, the government worked with International Finance Corporation, White & Case, Halcrow and other consultants to conduct an open-market invitation to tender for the extension and for a 40-year concession to run the extended line.[100][101] However, the project was shelved months before Gloria Macapagal Arroyo would end her term as President.[102]

The project was re-approved in March 2012.[103] Construction was expected to start in 2014 but was delayed due to right of way issues. The issues were resolved in 2016 and on May 4, 2017, the project broke ground.[104][105] The two-phase project would be implemented in a hybrid scheme (combination of the official development assistance funds from Japan and the private proponent, the Light Rail Manila Corporation).[106] Civil works on the extension began on May 7, 2019.[107] The project, pegged at ₱64 billion, has suffered cost overruns due to construction delays brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic and pending right-of-way issues of the second phase of the project.[108]

The line would be extended from Parañaque southwards, connecting Las Piñas and Bacoor to the Mega Manila railway network. Aside from the construction of eight stations (Redemptorist, Manila International Airport, Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Piñas, Zapote, Niog) and another two planned stations (Manuyo Uno and Talaba), the extension project also features the construction of three intermodal facilities, one satellite depot located at Zapote, and mass upgrades to the existing Baclaran depot. The construction of the extension line is being built using a full span launching method, renowned as one of the fastest methods of construction for bridges and elevated viaducts that cuts time and total land space needed for construction. As the first railway line to utilize the new construction method, a total of 203 pi-girders were used for the construction of the extension's first phase;[109] the last of which was laid on February 7, 2022.[110] The project is expected to cater more than 800,000 passengers daily once completed.[104][105]

The LRMC partnered with Bouygues Construction for the civil works,[111] Alstom for the installation of the signalling and communication systems,[7] and the RATP Dev Transdev Asia[112] for the overall engineering, procurement, consultation, construction and assistance services for the project.

In August 2023, businessman Manny Villar bared plans to take over the extension project, noting the difficulty of LRMC extending the line to Cavite due to right-of-way issues. A portion of the extension will pass by Villar's properties in Las Piñas, and according to Villar, right-of-way acquisition "will not be a problem". He also plans to further extend the line into Cavite province should the unsolicited proposal be approved.[113]

As of November 11, 2023, the project is 94.1% complete. Phase 1 of the extension is slated to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2024,[114] with full operations by 2027.[115]

Incidents and accidents[edit]

Rizal Day bombings[edit]

On December 30, 2000, during the Rizal Day, a 1000 class LRV train (Car number 1037) was involved in the Rizal Day bombings at Blumentritt station. The attack on the line killed some 22 people and injured hundreds. Eight members of both Jemaah Islamiyah and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which include Hambal, Asia's most wanted man, and Fathur Rahman al-Ghozi, were charged with plotting and masterminding the attacks in 2003, some three years after the attacks. Three suspects were put on trial,[116][117] with al-Ghozi receiving 17 years in prison due to the illegal possession of explosives. Al-Ghozi later died in a firefight after attempting to escape from prison.

Other incidents[edit]

  • On January 3, 2008, a fire blazed at a shopping mall in Baclaran. Due to the smoke, the Baclaran station was temporarily closed. A provisional service was implemented between EDSA and Monumento (at the time, the north extension was not opened yet), with southbound trains still proceeding towards Baclaran to only serve as a turnback siding.[118] The station remained closed the following day[119] until it was reopened a few days later.[citation needed]
  • On August 11, 2008, a fire blazed in a mall near the Baclaran station. The station was closed to the public until the station was reopened on August 13.[120]
  • On December 8, 2008, a train encountered a glitch while approaching Carriedo station.[121]
  • On February 18, 2011, two trains (1G and 3G) collided near Fernando Poe Jr. station in Quezon City at the reversing tracks, around a kilometer away to the east. There were no passengers on board when the incident happened. The cause of the collision is yet to be determined, whether due to driver error or technical malfunction.[122]
  • On April 15, 2011, a door malfunction disrupted the operations of Line 1 at Blumentritt station.[123]
  • On June 21, 2011, at 8:00 AM, a train suffered a short circuit in one of its electrical components at Libertad station. On the same day, at 2:23 PM, a power cable was hit by lightning, disrupting the line's operations for three hours.[124]
  • On August 30, 2012, at 5:50 AM, a woman committed suicide after jumping in front of an approaching train at EDSA station. Operations were disrupted until operations resumed at 9:40 AM.[125]
  • On December 21, 2012, a train stalled at the Monumento station.[126]
  • On November 14, 2014, a signaling fault at Fernando Poe Jr. station limited the operations between Monumento and Baclaran stations. The situation normalized at 3:57 PM.[127]
  • On May 23, 2015, thousands of passengers were stranded after two trains (1G and 3G) collided near the Monumento station. A train driver was hurt after the impact caused his head to slam into the dashboard of the train.[128] The accident, later revealed to be caused by power fluctuation that affected the signalling system, forced passengers to alight from the station until services was restored around 1 pm at the same day.[129]
  • On March 10, 2016, a 1G train car door was left open while running between Central Terminal and Pedro Gil stations. The problem was fixed at the Pedro Gil station.[130]
  • On March 22, 2016, the doors of a 1G train car at the Central Terminal station failed to open, leaving passengers trapped inside the train.[131][132]
  • On September 26, 2016, a faulty door in a 1G train car suddenly slammed shut in less than a second. No one was injured.[133]
  • On November 6, 2017, a man's leg got stuck when a train door closed at the Gil Puyat station. The man was dragged at the platform when the train was moving, leaving the man with severe injuries. The man was then sent to a nearby hospital, where he was confined in an intensive care unit. According to a report, a number of trains, particularly the 1000 class (1G) trains, do not have sensors, that detects an object between doors.[134]
  • On November 27, 2017, an 1100 class (2G) train door malfunctioned after a passenger forcibly opened it at Vito Cruz station, causing the sensor to malfunction. The train continued its journey with the door left open, and a passenger recorded this incident on camera.[135]
  • On February 20, 2018, at around 6:00am, a train at R. Papa station unloaded 120 passengers after the air pressure gauge inside the train malfunctioned. The operations returned to normal 30 minutes later.[136]
  • On July 21, 2018, at around 6:00 AM, a contact wire sparked near Libertad station. A provisional service between Fernando Poe Jr. and United Nations stations was implemented. Normal operations resumed at 2:59 PM after the cable was fixed.[137]
  • On September 26, 2018, a faulty 1G train door was unable to open at the Balintawak station. A passenger pushed the door open and was able to disembark. The next passenger pushed the door but it abruptly closed on him but managed to get through.[138]
  • On October 3, 2019, a mechanical problem limited the LRT-1 operations between Monumento and Baclaran stations. The operations returned to normal at 1:50 AM.[139]
  • On November 6, 2020, a 1G train car emitted smoke at Gil Puyat station at 2:00 PM due to a catenary fault. Passengers were evacuated, and the line implemented a provisional service from Balintawak to Central Terminal and vice versa.[140] The situation normalized at 8:00 PM.[141]
  • On April 4, 2022, a train suffered a glitch at Tayuman station, causing a speed restriction of 25 kilometers per hour (16 miles per hour). Operations normalized at 7:34 AM.[142]
  • On February 17, 2023, operations were limited between Fernando Poe Jr. and Gil Puyat due to electrical problems.[143]
  • On April 14, 2023, at 10:17 AM, a speed restriction of 25 kilometers per hour (16 miles per hour) was put in place in the whole train line due to the reported fault of the affected LRV.[144] At 10:25 AM, the operations stop in whole line due to the fault of affected train at Bambang station northbound[145] and the line implemented a provisional service from Baclaran to Central Terminal and vice versa at 10:52 AM.[146] Operations normalized from Baclaran to Roosevelt and vice versa at 11:01 AM.[147]

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