PNR to deploy new train sets next year

MANILA More passengers will soon be accommodated at the Philippine National Railways' (PNR) Metro Commuter Line from Tutuban in Manila to Calamba in Laguna province with the delivery of new train sets next year.

We will modernize five trains and buy nine next generation/class of PNR trains. These will be PNR 8000 class trains," PNR General Manager Junn Magno said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Wednesday.

"We are gunning capacity of 14 train sets by end of 2019 to serve approximately 120,000 passengers per day from the current 50,000 per day, he added.

A total of nine new train sets seven were bought in May and two in January this year were purchased from Indonesian state-owned company PT Industri Kereta Api (PT INKA). This is the first time in 40 years that the PNR has purchased new trains.

The train sets are expected to be delivered in 2019 amid ongoing rehabilitation of five trains. On the one hand, the older train models of the PNR will be redeployed to the Naga-Legazpi and Lucena-Alabang service.

The agency also plans to purchase freight trains in order to ease traffic congestion on roads leading to the Port of Manila; and restart parcel cargo service from the Bicol region to Blumentritt and Divisoria next year, subject to the approval of its budget by Congress.

The freight trains will lead to the decongestion of the Del Pan-Roxas Boulevard-OsmeAa highway corridor in Manila.

If we haul one-fourth of their freight out of MICP (Manila International Container Port) to their inland port in Laguna (Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal) we can reduce overall Metro traffic by 10 percent and Del Pan-Roxas Boulevard-OsmeAa Corridor by one third, Magno said.

These measures are being implemented amid the ongoing construction of the PNR North and South railway projects under the Build, Build, Build program of the Duterte administration.

The PNR North consists of two phases: North South Commuter Rail from Tutuban to Malolos and North 2 from Malolos to Clark on Pampanga, while the PNR South consists of the South Commuter Line from Manila to Los Banos, Laguna and South Long Haul connecting Manila to Matnog in Sorsogon province.

The PNR is conducting the relocation of informal settlers residing along the right of way of these projects, in coordination with the National Housing Authority, the Presidential Commission on the Urban Poor and the Social Housing Finance Corporation. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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