Opening of Malolos-Clark railway moved to 2026
CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga —The 53.1-kilometer Malolos-Clark segment of the North-South Commuter Railway will start in 2026, not next year, as a result of the delay in the completion of the segment’s depot here, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) clarified on Wednesday.
“The revised completion plan of the N2 [Malolos-Clark] depot will affect the opening of N2 Line. From the previous 2024 target completion, it is now expected to run by 2026,” the DOTr told the Inquirer.
It said the N1 or the Tutuban-Malolos segment has its own depot independent of the N2 depot.
“Thus, the schedule of the depot construction of N2 will not affect the operations of N1,” it added.
DOTr moved the completion date of the Clark depot from October 2024 to June 2025 after it gave the South Korean contractor POSCO eight months to finish works.
POSCO claimed to have received late the depot’s 36-hectare land on the Mabalacat, Pampanga side of Clark due to the clearing of several fruit-bearing trees there.
Transportation Sec. Jaime Bautista said the depot was a “very important part of the NSCR, considering the Operations Control Center of the project will be located here.”
Clark depot was designed to have 33 stabling tracks as parking area or trains, 12 more tracks to get to maintenance facilities and 48 buildings. It said over 33 percent of works has been completed as of Dec. 31, 2022.
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 between Calamba in Laguna to Clark Freeport in Pampanga, connecting Central Luzon, Metro Manila and Southern Tagalog regions. Jointly funded by the Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, the National Economic and Development Authority raised the project cost to P777.55 billion in late 2018.
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