Trains in the Philippines

MRT7 inches toward completion with turnback guideway groundbreaking

Lance Spencer Yu

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MRT7 inches toward completion with turnback guideway groundbreaking

MRT7. Officials from the Department of Transportation, San Miguel Corporation, and Quezon City Government lead the groundbreaking of a turnback guideway for the MRT7.

Department of Transportation's Facebook Page

Civil works for the long-delayed project is estimated to be half completed, with the railway targeted to begin partial operations by the third quarter of 2025

MANILA, Philippines – Pre-construction works for the elevated turnback guideway of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT7) has begun, but the railway project remains years away from starting operations.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr), along with the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), and Quezon City local government, broke ground for the project on Friday, April 14. The turnback guideway, situated along West Avenue and North Avenue in Quezon City, will allow MRT7 trains to loop around and change directions upon terminating at the North Triangle Common Station.

“This portion of the alignment is critical to ensuring that train services would remain on schedule across the entire alignment from North Avenue to San Jose del Monte,” railway assistant secretary Jorjette Aquino said on Friday.

“This pre-construction works’ program will guarantee the least possible disruption in the travel experience of both pedestrians and road users along West Avenue while the MRT 7 infrastructure is in place,” she added.

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The first ten stations of the MRT7 are expected to become operational by the third quarter of 2025, according to railway undersecretary Cesar Chavez. 

“MRT7, 56% completed na [ang] civil works (around 56% of civil works is completed),” Chavez said in a chance interview on Tuesday, April 11. “Malaki na ang progress (We’ve made a lot of progress).”

Meanwhile, the Caloocan and Bulacan stations are expected to be completed in 2027.

Sobrang delayed na sila. Remember, 2003 pa ito tapos ‘yung contract singing, 2014. Construction, 2016. Delayed na sila,” Chavez added. 

(They’re already very delayed. Remember, this began in 2003, and then the contract signing was in 2014. Construction started in 2016. They’re delayed.) 

The MRT7, which costs around P77 billion, will have 14 stations from North Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose del Monte in Bulacan. The SMC project, which has been hounded by right-of-way issues, was originally scheduled to start full operations in December 2022, before being delayed further to 2023.

Once completed, the railway line is envisioned to service about 800,000 daily commuters, reducing travel time from Quezon City to Bulacan from three hours to 35 minutes. –

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Lance Spencer Yu

Lance Spencer Yu is a multimedia reporter who covers the transportation, tourism, infrastructure, finance, agriculture, and corporate sectors, as well as macroeconomic issues.