PNR reconstruction underway, exec says
MANILA, Philippines — The reconstruction of the Philippine National Railways’ (PNR) North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which would run from Pampanga to Laguna, has begun, according to its chairman Michael Ted Macapagal.
During the Transport and Logistics Forum held at the World Trade Center, Macapagal said the agency aims to complete the reconstruction of the P873.62 billion NSCR project within five years. It spans from Clark Air Base to Calamba City, with a distance of 147 kilometers.
Once finished, it would be able to transport approximately 800,000 passengers each day, cutting their travel time from eight to four hours, the chairman said in a statement issued on Sunday.
“To give way to the construction project, PNR has stopped train operations from Alabang to Laguna. It is set to stop all operations in Metro Manila also. That’s why the LTFRB [Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board], prodded by PNR, is expeditiously approving franchise applications for additional buses in affected areas,” the agency said.
Moreover, it added that PNR trains, which rely on diesel fuel, would be replaced by a fleet of 60 electric multiple units.
“The NSCR is long overdue. While other countries transport people and goods by train, the Philippines depends on cars and trucks to achieve that purpose, which is why we have these daily traffic snarl-ups that cost us, according to studies, the equivalent of $25 billion a year,” Macapagal said.
Aside from the NSCR, he added the current administration also plans to start the construction of the North Long Haul, the South Long Haul, the Panay Railway, the North Mindanao Railway, and the San Mateo Railway — all spanning a total of 1,024 kilometers.