How Fast Is the MRT Compared to Usain Bolt, Japan's Bullet Train?

Here's a hint: It's faster than an Olympic sprinter.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Over the quarantines, the MRT-3 management increased train running speed every month thanks to continued rehabilitation and repairs. Waiting times have been cut in half , with more passengers having been ferried despite social distancing measures. Our trains aren't the fastest in the world, but just how fast are they?

ALSO READ: Shorter Waiting Times at MRT as Trains Run Even Faster

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It's roughly as fast as a storm.

For comparison, storms under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 run as fast as 30 kph to 60 kph.

In September, the MRT-3 trains ran at 30 kph then got bumped up to 40 kph come October. At present, all trains on the main line run at 50 kph. You could say that our trains' average running speed is as fast as Signal No. 1 typhoon winds.

The world's fastest human can compete.

Usain Bolt, the world's fastest human who holds a sprint record of 44.64 kph, can technically outrun our trains before quarantines started.

If the MRT-3 runs at 50 kph for the entire month of November with no hitch, it's expected to run even faster at 60 kph once December rolls in. Our trains will finally be able to outsprint Bolt.

You can drive faster at an expressway.

The speed limit for cars in the country's expressways is at 100 kph, or twice as fast as the MRT-3's running speed now.

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Minimum speed for expressways is 60 kph, so your usual driving speed is the 2020 year-end goal for the MRT-3.

What about the world's fastest train?

Japan is known for its expansive train network, with carriages ferrying thousands of passengers daily. Its bullet train, or Shinkansen, is still operational even after 56 years of service and belongs to an entirely different league—it can reach top speeds of up to 320 kph.

Tokyo to Osaka is a 503.7-kilometer trip, and a bullet train can close that distance in just 2.5 to 3 hours. If you were to ride the MRT-3, you'd spend at least 10 hours of your day on the train.

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