HomeBiggest projectsNorth-South Commuter Railway in the Philippines (NSCRP) Project Updates

North-South Commuter Railway in the Philippines (NSCRP) Project Updates

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) recently announced that it had signed a contract for the purchase of 304 more Commuter Railway Train Cars for use on the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

The latter is divided into segments. The first segment is the 38-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos) that will connect Manila and Tutuban to Bulacan and Malolos. This segment will reportedly reduce travel time between the aforementioned regions from one hour and 30 minutes down to 30 minutes.

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The second segment is the PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) which is 53-kilometer long. This segment will reduce the travel time it takes from Malolos City Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga from two hours to an impressive 30 to 35 minutes. This segment will also feature the first AIrport Railway Express Service which will connect Makati City to Clark International Airport. 

According to DOTr, the NSCR project had made a huge “headway” with the unveiling of the 8 car Electric Multiple UNit meant for the PNR Clark Phase 1. 

Arthur Tugade, the Secretary of Transportation said that the purchase of the Commuter Railway Train Cars for the NSCR project is for the ultimate convenience and comfort of the Filipino people. Arthur also assured that President Duterte and his dedicated and hardworking team will go the extra mile to ensure that the projects are completed on scheduled time. 

According to the Department of Transportation, the 147-kilometer railway transport route will include a total number of 464 train cars as well as 37 stations. It will also stretch across 28 municipalities and cities within the regions of Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Calabarzon.

The route is projected to serve over one million passengers on in a day once it is fully operational. 

Project overview

The North-South Commuter Railway in the Philippines (NSCR), also known as the Clark–Calamba Railway, is a 148-kilometer urban rail transit system currently under construction on the island of Luzon, Philippines, primarily in the Greater Manila Area.

Also Read: Malolos-Clark Railway Project timeline and what you need to know

The project comprises two components, the first of which is a 653km including 478km mainline and 175km extension, long-haul passenger rail line from Tutuban, Manila, to Legazpi, Bicol, with possible extensions from Calamba, Laguna, to Batangas City a distance of 58km, and from Legazpi, Albay, to Matnog, Sorsogon a distance of 117km.

The second component includes a 56km commuter rail line or the NSCR for daily riders on the Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna route with two additional sections including the 38km PNR Clark Phase one from Tutuban to Malolos, and the 53km PNR Clark Phase two from Malolos to Clark.

The entire route will have a total of 36 stations.

Scope of the project

The North-South Railway Project includes restoration and renovation of the existing track for safe use, as well as upgrades for attaining a design speed of 75km/h and allowing a maximum permissible axle load of 15t.

It will also include the repair and replacement of more than 420 bridges, the development of 15 stations and three depots, the installation of electromechanical, signaling, communication, and automatic fare collection systems.

The new line will be served by diesel-powered multiple unit rolling stock that will constitute 14 electric multiple unit-based, eight-car trains, which will be increased to 32 by the year 2044.

North-South Commuter Railway in the Philippines Project team

The US$ 15.8bn North-South Railway Project is developed jointly by the Philippines’ Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Philippines National Railways (PNR) with subsidies from Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Export-Import Bank of China.

CPCS Transcom (CPCS) is acting as the lead transaction advisor and will also conduct pre-investment studies to assess feasibility, structure the project as a PPP, and provide support during the tender and negotiation processes.

Oriental Consultants Global and SMEC are the general consultants for phase one of the project to provide detailed design and manage and supervise construction.

Taisei Corporation and D.M. Consunji joint venture are undertaking the construction of the first package of phase one of the commuter rail, while the second package will be carried out by a consortium of Sumitomo-Mitsui Construction.

NSTren Consortium is the construction supervision consultant for phase one of the project.

Sumitomo Corporation will supply 104 train sets for phase one of the commuter rail by February 2023.

Project timeline

2015

The North-South Railway Project was approved by the National Economic and Development Agency (NEDA) Board in February 2015.

2018

In January, the pre-construction work such as clearing of the right of way for the project began.

2019

The groundbreaking ceremony for the project, starting with PNR Clark Phase one, was held in February and the actual construction work started right after.

2021

In January, the 54-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 segment, which will run from Malolos in Bulacan to Clark in Pampanga, was reportedly 27.79% complete.  The pre-construction activities for the project such as site inspections at the Clark International Airport (CRK) and Apalit Station were ongoing.

The construction of the North-South Commuter Railway Extension particularly the PNR Clark Phase two which upon completion will deliver the Southeast Asia country’s first airport railway express service, began in September.

In October, DOTr announced that the first train set for the PNR Clark Phase 1 was undergoing factory acceptance testing (FAT) in Japan to ensure that it meets its “intended purpose” and complies with international standards such as the International Organization of Standardization (ISO) and Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS), prior to its delivery.

November 2021

The Department of Transportation signed an agreement with NLEX Corporation over the construction of columns for the PNR Clark Phase 2 Project. Under the agreement, columns for PNR Clark will be constructed in the shoulders and median island that will cross above the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway to allow seamless operations of both the expressway and the railway.

The DOTR and NLEX  will also coordinate for the project design, traffic management plan, safety plan, and security plan.

November 2021

DOTr announced that the first of the 13 rolling stock sets procured from the Japan Transport Company and Sumitomo Corporation Joint Venture for PNR Clark Phase 1, had arrived in the Philippines.

The rolling stock, which is the same as the eight-car train set that underwent testing in Japan back in October 2021, has passed factory acceptance tests and is already at the Port of Manila. It will be transferred to the Philippine National Railways depot in Malanday next month (Decmber 2021) after the shipment has cleared customs.

According to DOTr, the second set will be delivered by the second quarter of next year (2021).

The Transportation Department announced that Bocaue and Balagtas Stations on PNR Clark Phase 1 had achieved an overall progress rate of 23.18% and 23.97% respectively and they were expected to start partial operations by October 2022.

The department projected that all the 10 stations in the PNR Clark Phase 1 can be completed in less than two years, as well as the six stations for the 53-kilometer PNR Clark Phase 2 from Malolos to Clark International Airport.

Goddess Hope Libiran, the Assistant Secretary said that the entire PNR Clark 1 project was 51.30% complete explaining that this progress rate includes not just the 10 stations but also the viaducts and the girders, and other components of the project.

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