BBM orders PNR reconstruction

By The Manila Times
August 23, 2023

THE Philippine National Railways (PNR) is undergoing reconstruction for the first time in its history.

At the Transport Logistics Forum, PNR chairman Michael Ted Macapagal said that his agency is currently working on the development of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which would run from Pampanga to Laguna, spanning a total distance of 147 kilometers. Its estimated cost is P873.62 billion.

Once complete, it would be able to transport 800,000 passengers every day, cutting the travel time from one end to the other in half and even shorter for express train passengers.

All PNR trains, which currently run on diesel fuel, would be replaced by 60 electric multiple units that, Macapagal said, are on par with world standards in terms of safety and comfort.

“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 added.

To accommodate the project, PNR has stopped train operations from Alabang to Laguna and is also set to stop all operations in Metro Manila soon. Consequently, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) is expeditiously approving franchise applications for additional buses in affected areas.

Aside from the NSCR, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. intends to begin the construction of the North Long Haul, South Long Haul, Panay Railway, North Mindanao Railway and San Mateo Railway.