As we all know, the Philippine Government is focusing its efforts on creating infrastructures for the country’s economic growth, specifically through its Build! Build! Build! initiative.
One of the key aspects this BBB Program is pouring funding on is the easing of traffic congestion in the National Capital Region, to be more specific – Metro Manila.
It’s not a secret that the country’s capital area is experiencing such a state of overcrowding on main thoroughfares that it’s been called ‘Carmageddon’ a handful of times.
However, that’s where the North-South Commuter Railway Project comes in. The mega-rail plan, which will connect to the existing PNR in Tutuban, Manila, is among the government’s best bets in overcoming the tragedy that is Metropolitan Manila’s roads.
The North-South Commuter Railway Project, also known as the Calamba-Clark Rail Way, is a 148-kilometer rail transit line that will connect New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac to Calamba, Laguna.
The ambitious infrastructure project will consist of 37 stations- once completed – and will be the first commuter rail system in the Philippines to be grade-separated.
Due to its size, the project will be undertaken in three different phases. The first stage will be the 38-kilometer NSCR North 1 also known as the Tutuban-Malolos railway, the second will be the 54-kilometer NSCR North 2, which will run from Malolos to the city of Clark in Pampanga.
The last phase, known as the NSCR South line, will connect Solis, Manila to Calamba, Laguna. It will be 56 kilometers long.
So far, the Department of Transportation has only released renders for stations under the Tutuban-Malolos Railway Line and the Solis -Calamba Railyway Line. Here they are:
Solis – Calamba Railway Line stations:
Cost and Contractors
The NSCR North 1 Line was funded through Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). The project’s expected cost is Php 149.13 billion. It will be built by Japanese and Filipino contractors DMCI Holdings, Taisei Corporation, and Sumitomo-Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd.
Meanwhile, the NSCR North 2 or the Malolos-Clark Railway will cost a staggering Php 283.8 billion. It will be financed by Japan’s ODA and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The project has been split into three construction packages. Package 1 will be undertaken by Megawide Construction and Korean partners Hyundai Engineering and Construction and Dong-Ah Geological Engineering.
Package 2 was awarded to Spanish conglomerate Acciona and Korean construction company Daelim Industrial. And package 3 will be handled by Thai construction firm Italian-Thai Development Public Company.
The NSCR South line will be financed by both the ODA and ADB and will cost a total of Php 344.6 billion. At present, DOTr is in the process of finishing resettlement action plan (RAP) activities for the project and is currently in the procurement stage for five out of eight civil works contract packages.
The first phase of the North-South Commuter Railway Project (NSCR North 1), specifically the Tutuban to Malolos Railway line, is now 45.82% complete. The line is expected to start partial operations before 2021 ends and full operations will commence by 2024.
Once finished, the line will accommodate over 300,000 passengers a day and will cut down the usual 1 hour and 30 minute travel time between the two ends of the line (Tutuban and Malolos) to only 30 minutes.
On the other hand, 27.79% of the Malolos-Clark Railway (NSCR North 2) is now complete. The line is expected to become partially operational by 2022. It’s expected to trim down travel time between Bulacan and Pampanga to only 30-35 minutes, from the original 1 hour and 30 minutes.
For its last phase, the Solis to Calamba Railway line, also known as the NSCR South Line, is expected to be finished by 2025. The project will involve the reconstruction of the existing Metro Commuter Line.
Want more news like this one? Head over to Nation Builder PH Business News Section for the latest updates.
Image credit: Department of Transportation (DOTr)