July 16, 2019 at 07:40 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
The Department of Transportation said Tuesday it signed a P12.1-billion contract with the joint venture of Japan Transport Engineering Co. and Sumitomo Corp. to purchase trains for a rail system between Tutuban, Manila and Malolos, Bulacan.
The Tutuban-Malolos rail system represents Phase 1 of Philippine National Railways’ Clark Railway Project. Phase 2 will extend it from Malolos to Clark Freeport in Pampanga province.
Under the Phase 1 contract, J-Trec-Sumitomo will manufacture and deliver 13 train sets for a total of 104 cars with a capacity of 2,242 passengers per train. “The prototype trains will be delivered by the third quarter of 2021,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Tugade said the partial operations from Valenzuela to Malolos were expected to start by the end of 2021.
PNR Clark Phase 1 is a 37.6-kilometer elevated mass railway from Tutuban to Malolos. It will have 10 stations in Tutuban, Solis, Caloocan, Valenzuela, Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiginto and Malolos. Taisei Corp. and D.M. Consunji Inc. will build the project.
Once operational by the fourth quarter of 2021, travel time from Manila to Malolos would be reduced from one hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes. The rail line is also expected to serve 300,000 passengers daily.
PNR Clark Phase 1 is funded by official development assistance from Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency under a 241.991-billion-yen or P93.457-billion loan agreement signed in November 2015.
PNR Clark Phase 1 forms part of the North-South Commuter Railway Project―a mega rail network that aims to seamlessly integrate the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Calabarzon through PNR Clark Phases 1 and 2 (Tutuban-Malolos and Malolos-Clark) and PNR Calamba (Manila-Laguna).
The entire NSCR line aims to serve 700,000 passengers daily once fully operational by 2023.