The Department of Transportation said it plans to revive the operation of a container cargo rail from Port Area in Manila to Laguna province.
The agency said it was looking at reopening the tracks towards the berths of Manila International Container Terminal and Manila North Harbor to restart the container cargo service between MICT to Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal in Calamba, Laguna.
International Container Terminal Services Inc. operated the cargo trains transporting containers from the port of Manila to Laguna using the PNR tracks from 1998 until it was discontinued in 2003.
ICTSI operates both MICT and the Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal.
Once operational, the link will help Philippine National Railways to haul cargo containers equivalent to 500 to 700 truck trips per day.
The DOTr sad it planned to purchase freight trains which would lead to the decongestion of the Delpan-Roxas Boulevard-Osmeña highway corridor in Manila.
“These measures are being implemented amid the ongoing construction of the PNR North and South railway projects under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte administration,” the DOTr said.
The P105.31-billion PNR North 1 is a 38-kilometer line that will connect Malolos, Bulacan to NCR. It will reduce travel time between these two areas from over one hour and thirty minutes today to 35 minutes once the railway is fully operational.
The project is expected to serve more than 300,000 passengers daily in its opening year in 2021.
The PNR South Long-haul project is a 581-kilometer, standard-gauge railway from Manila to Legazpi, Matnog and Batangas City. The railway will connect cities, international seaports and economic zones, allowing faster transportation of passengers and freight.
The project involves the complete reconstruction of the legacy PNR railway into a single-track, at-grade railway
The government targets to start operation of the PNR South long-haul project by the second quarter of 2022.