By Joel E. Zurbano | Manila Standard Today | May 26, 2015

THE management of Metro Rail Transit 3 was forced to stop serving North Avenue in Quezon City to Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City Monday afternoon because of a plastic material that was thrown into an electricity cable at the Ortigas Avenue Station.


At 3 pm the train system was only able to load and unload passengers only on Shaw Boulevard to Taft Avenue and vice versa while the management waited for the plastic material to be removed.

It wasn’t clear what plastic material had been thrown on the railways’ catenary system overhead, which officials said could have caused an accident. 

“MRT’s operations between Shaw Boulevard and North Avenue stations were suspended,” MRT general manager Ramon Buenafe said.

The MRT resumed normal operations after 30 minutes, or at 3:30 pm. The management then appealed to the public not to throw garbage on the tracks to avoid disrupting the train system’s operations.

Monday was not the first time that the MRT operated on only a few stations because of a trash problem.

In November 2014 the MRT suspended operations for two hours after someone threw a plastic bag full of trash on the tracks between Magallanes and Taft Avenue.

The management said a passerby could have thrown the trash from the pedestrian overpass near Evangelista Street.

The MRT has been vulnerable to breakdowns due to inadequate preventive maintenance, the absence of regular inspections and lack of spare parts.

The trains system serves 13 stations and ferries close to 600,000 passengers daily. It started  operation in 1999 as the country’s second rapid transit line in Metro Manila.

The system forms part of the rail transport infrastructure that includes LRT-1 and MRT-2 and the Metro Commuter Line of the Philippine National Railways.

Over the weekend, a southbound LRT-1 train collided with another train at the Monumento Station in Caloocan City that officials blamed on power fluctuation.