The Department of Transportation said the operation of the Philippine National Railways San Pablo-Lucena Inter-provincial Commuter Service resumed on June 26, nearly 10 years after it was suspended.
“We are committed to continue working up to the last day in order to achieve the mandate of the President Duterte to make the life of Filipino life convenient and comfortable by establishing connectivity and mobility,” outgoing Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The PNR Lucena-San Pablo commuter line ceased operations in October 2013 after the collapse of an abutment.
The line will have two terminal stations and four flag stops, with travel time of 1 hour and 32 minutes from Lucena to San Pablo.
The 44-kilometer inter-provincial railway commuter line is vital in restoring the PNR Bicol or “Bicol Express,” which will link Metro Manila and the provinces in Southern Luzon, including Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon.
The PNR will use parts of the long-distance rail network’s right-of-way for the PNR South Long Haul Project or the “Bicol Express”.
The DOTr earlier signed a P142-billion contract with Chinese companies to build the first 380 kilometers of the PNR Bicol Project from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay.
The agency tapped China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd. and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. for the design, construction and electromechanical works of the project.
The first 380 kilometers will span 39 cities and municipalities, four provinces and two regions. It will involve the construction of 23 stations, 230 bridges, 10 passenger tunnels and a 70-hectare depot in San Pablo, Laguna.
The project will be funded by official development assistance from China. The Chinese government may finance up to 85 percent of the contract amount, with the balance to be funded by the local counterpart budget.