State-run Philippine National Railways (PNR) yesterday said it has revived five stations up to Los Baños, Laguna and has included a new train set from Japan in its main line.
Starting from Tutuban, Manila, PNR said they have re-opened five stop stations past the Calamba station: Pansol, Masili, Los Baños, College and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
PNR said the new train set from Japan has been included in the main line. It consists of one Kogane train set, with three coaches.
At present, the new train set can accommodate 81 passengers. Passengers can enjoy reclining and rotating seats, stowable tables, leg rests and a comfort room inside the train.
But passengers using this train will have to pay from Tutuban to Los Baños (IRRI) P150 each.
Junn Magno, PNR general manager, said tests have been conducted to ensure the smooth-running operation of the extended services, and that more trips will be added over time.
“With the holiday season in full effect, we might increase trip frequency the moment ridership improves. Our engineering department has certified the line to be passable, and our Operations and Rolling Stock departments made the necessary preparation for the extension of the service,” Magno said.
Apart from the Kogane train, two new train sets from Indonesia will arrive next week. The train sets will be included in the PNR line under the Tutuban-Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) and Malabon-FTI routes.
The PNR ordered a total of 37 rail cars from Indonesia.
On top of the two train sets comprised of three rail cars each that are due to arrive next week, 31 more coaches are set to be delivered from December 2019 to February 2020.
These shall form seven train sets of four- and five-car configurations.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation is on track to complete the PNR expansion with the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.
The NSCR project, a mega railway network spanning 148 kilometers with 37 stations, is worth P777.5 billion. It is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Part of the massive NSCR project is PNR Clark Phase 2, a 53-km. segment from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga.
This rail line will feature the country’s first airport express railway service.
PNR Clark Phase 2 is targeted for partial operations by 2022.
This will reduce travel time between Malolos and Clark International Airport to just 30-35 minutes; and from Buendia, Makati to Clark airport from 2 hours via car to just 55 minutes through the airport express.
It aims to serve 340,000 passengers daily in its opening year.