Depot of North-South Commuter Railway gets 8-month extension
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has moved from October 2024 to June 2025 the completion date of the Clark depot here, which will be the site of the operations control center of the 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) that was planned to be running next year.
The DOTr on Tuesday (Jan. 24) confirmed giving an eight-month extension to the South Korean contractor POSCO Engineering & Construction, which explained it received the depot’s 36-hectare land on the Mabalacat, Pampanga side of Clark late due to the clearing of several fruit-bearing trees there, Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista said in a statement.
“We promised the President that we will finish the project as agreed on the timeline that we set. I just want to see to it that we work together and finish this project on time,” Bautista said in the statement.
According to DOTr, the Clark depot was designed to have 33 stabling tracks as parking areas for trains, 12 more tracks to get to maintenance facilities, as well as 48 buildings.
It said over 33 percent of works have been completed as of Dec. 31, 2022.
The depot, Bautista said, is “a very important part of the NSCR, considering the operations control center of the project will be located here.”
It did not say how the delay in finishing the depot would affect the schedule of rail operations.
The NSCR, which came on the heels of two failed railway projects, was finally started during the administration of then President Rodrigo Duterte.
The rail runs from Calamba in Laguna to Clark Freeport in Pampanga, connecting Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and the Southern Tagalog regions. Jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the National Economic and Development Authority raised the project cost to P777.55 billion in late 2018. INQ
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