The Department of Transportation said Thursday the Philippine National Railways Clark Phase 1 is on track to be operational by December this year.
It said PNR Clark Phase 1, or the Tutuban-Malolos line, had a 40.48-percent completion rate as of end-2020 and was scheduled to be partially operational by December 2021.
Phase 1 is a 38-kilometer rail line that will connect Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan.. It is projected to reduce travel time from about 1 hour and 30 minutes to just 35 minutes.
The department said the construction of stations and viaducts were ongoing for Phase 1. Also ongoing is the installation of pre-cast segment of the girder.
The procedure includes molding and pre-stressing of segments on the fabrication yard, transport and lifting of precast segments, segment stitching and post-tensioning. This is carried out using a launching girder, winch system, span jack and pre-stressing jack and other heavy equipment.
The pre-cast segment, one of the main components of the rail line construction, is an engineering masterpiece designed and patterned after international railway construction guidelines.
The PNR Clark Phase 2 project, on the other hand, is a 53-km northern segment of the 147-km North-South Commuter Railway System, which will run from Clark in Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna.
The NSCR will have 37 stations, spanning 26 local government units and connecting three regions. The project will feature the country’s first airport express service, which will reduce slash travel time between Clark International Airport in Pampanga and Makati City from more than two hours by car to just under one hour.
The project is expected to be completed by 2024.
The civil works will help the Philippines’ economic revival as it will create about 24,000 local construction jobs in the next three years and 14,000 more jobs related to the railway system’s operations.
It will lead to larger, indirect employment and economic benefits to local businesses such as suppliers of raw materials, which in turn will create more jobs.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is co-financing the project, will provide up to $2 billion in additional funding for the rolling stock and railway systems.