Train operation tests begin on LRT Taipa-Barra section

2023-03-10 04:05     BY Tony Wong    Comment:2

The Public Works Bureau (DSOP) said in a statement yesterday that with last month’s completion of the construction of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Barra station, train operation tests are now being carried out on the LRT’s Taipa-Barra section.

The Barra station will enable the LRT Taipa section to link up with the Macau peninsula.

Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosário told lawmakers late last year that with the project of building the Barra station to be completed in 2023, the government aimed for the LRT section connecting Taipa and Barra at the southernmost tip of the peninsula – via Sai Van Bridge – to come into service at the end of 2023 or the beginning of 2024.

Currently, the LRT only operates on the 9.3-kilometre-long Taipa section which includes Cotai. The Taipa-Cotai section, which started operating on December 10, 2019, has 11 stations.

The first LRT section that will connect Taipa and the peninsula will run from Ocean station, the western terminus of the LRT Taipa section, to the south-western tip of the peninsula near A-Ma Temple. LRT Ocean station is located near Ocean Gardens. The LRT Taipa-Barra section will run through the lower enclosed deck of the Macau-Taipa Sai Van Bridge.

The Public Works Bureau announced early this month that the construction of Barra station, which got off the ground in 2018, was completed last month.

Yesterday’s DSOP statement said that with the completion of Barra station, the installation of the rail operating system in the lower enclosed deck of Sai Van Bridge has now also been completed.

Consequently, according to the statement, the Public Works Bureau is now carrying out train operation tests on the LRT Taipa-Barra section, in collaboration with Macau Light Rapid Transit Corporation Limited (MLM), the government-owned LRT operator.

3 phases of tests

The statement said that the train operation tests are carried out in three phases. The first phase is now being carried out in Barra station and the lower enclosed deck of Sai Van Bridge. Afterwards, the statement said, the second phase will be extended to Ocean station, the western terminus of the LRT Taipa section.

According to the statement, the third phase of the train operations tests will be carried out throughout the current Taipa section and the Taipa-Barra section.

The statement also pledged that the Public Works Bureau will work closely with the LRT operator with the aim of minimising any possible adverse impact of the train operation tests on the current service of the LRT Taipa section.

The government commissioned China Construction and Engineering (Macau) Company Limited in August 2018 to carry out the Barra station project, which was then initially scheduled to be completed in November 2022. However, the project was subsequently slated to be completed this month after it had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic and adverse weather conditions.

According to the DSOP website, Barra station cost 1.178 billion patacas. 

This undated handout photo released by the Public Works Bureau (DSOP) yesterday shows a technician from Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the supplier of Macau’s LRT system and trains, testing an LRT train travelling in the Taipa-Barra section.

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