PNR to use DOST-made train soon; more units eyed

MANILA -- Soon, passengers of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) would be able to use the hybrid electric train (HET) made by engineers of the Department of Science of Technology (DOST).

In an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela PeAa said the HET just needs to undergo some testing, and that Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has expressed interest to have more units of the DOST-made train.

"The training of PNR drivers and maintenance personnel will start on the first week of March. (That would be) two weeks training, and another two weeks operating the HET without a passenger," he said.

He added that there is a required 150 hours of validation testing that would take 25 days or one month of 6-hour service operation with passengers.

The possibility of using the HET by April would depend on the PNR, dela PeAa said.

At present, there is only one unit of HET from the DOST. Dela PeAa said the DOST has always been open to technology adoption. "In the Philippines, of course PNR is the main company (for this train)," he said.

"The good news is that Secretary Tugade expressed his desire to have more units of this DOST hybrid train. Our DOST MIRDC (Metals Industry Research and Development Center) engineers are ready for this should a decision be made," dela PeAa emphasized.

He said Tugade did not mention the number of HET units needed, except the trains are for the PNR.

In July 2018, the DOST led a demo run of HET between PNR Dela Rosa station to PNR EDSA station. The activity was part of the National Science and Technology Week observance.

Launched in 2016, the HET is said to be energy-efficient since it is powered by batteries. The train could run at a speed of about 50 kph and could accommodate 220 passengers, according to DOST.

Apart from HET, the DOST has also developed a hybrid road train.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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