August 01, 2018 at 07:35 pm
Darwin G. Amojelar
The Philippine National Railways said it reopened its train service from Caloocan City to Dela Rosa Street in Makati City, 20 years after it was closed to the public.
“This is a good initiative from PNR. We will not just add, but also rehabilitate,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said.
The Caloocan-Dela Rosa line is the fastest and most cost-efficient means of transportation along the 13-kilometer route, with running time of 37 minutes. It was shut down in 1997. A part of it was supposed to be utilized for the Northrail project, but much of the rail tracks were unused.
PNR general manager Junn Magno said the revival of the line segment was through the effort and cooperation of several agencies.
“The Caloocan line segment was a departmental track used by PNR between the Tutuban and Caloocan workshops. It was heavily damaged because of water intrusion, so we embarked to repair the track back to common carrier grade. The LRTA [Light Rail Transit Authority] offered old ballast material in May 2018; we used that to rebuild the track. Then the MNTC [Manila North Tollways Corp.] offered to haul it out of LRTA Pasay Yard. When things were in place, we began refurbishing the old stations,” Magno said.
Magno said the original intent of rebuilding the track was to slowly transfer material away from the Caloocan workshops, in preparation of the North-South Commuter Railway or the PNR North 1, which will run from Tutuban in Manila to Malolos in Bulacan.
The project broke ground in January this year. Meanwhile, the Transportation Department decided to use the remaining track time to generate revenues at the same time serving the Caloocan-Makati corridor.
Six trains with a total capacity of 700 to 800 were deployed during the soft-opening today, to accommodate an expected 10,000 passengers.
The first trip from Caloocan to Dela Rosa leaves at 5:45 a.m., while the last trip from Caloocan is at 5:15 p.m. From Dela Rosa to Caloocan, the first trip leaves at 6:28 a.m., while the last trip is at 5:58 p.m.
The initial 13-km route run will stop at 10th Avenue (Macario Asistio), 5th Avenue, Solis, Blumentritt, España, Sta. Mesa and Dela Rosa stations. Minimum fare is P12 (non-aircon) and P15 (aircon).
The Caloocan-Dela Rosa, Makati Line will remain operational until the construction of the PNR Manila-Clark Railway line goes at full blast.