Chinese firm inks deal to deliver new trains for PNR Bicol project

Robie de Guzman   •   December 18, 2019   •   876

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) on Wednesday signed a contract with a Chinese company to supply trains for its long-haul service to the Bicol region.

The PNR signed the procurement deal with CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, which won the bidding in October for the South Long Haul project, also known as PNR Bicol.

Under the contract, the PNR will purchase three train sets of three-car formations from CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive which will be delivered in June 2021.

These trainsets will be deployed for long haul service from Calamba in Laguna to Naga City in Camarines Sur, and eventually to Legazpi City in Albay.

“This train will represent the first trip for the South Long Haul Project or what we call the PNR Bicol and it would cut down significantly 80 percent of the travel time between Manila and the Bicol region,” Magno said in a statement.

The Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains will feature business class, first-class, and second class accommodations. The trains can accommodate 168 passengers with 36 seats for business class, 52 seats for first class, and 80 seats for second class.

According to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, this will be the first time the country will have trains sets with three types of accommodation.

The signing of the contract for the procurement of the standard gauge DMU trains was led by PNR General Manager Junn Magno and CRRC Locomotive Vice President Wang Qiaolin.

Witnessing the signing ceremony were Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan and CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive General Manager Fu Chengjun.

PNR to file cases vs. barangay officials for blocking train in Calamba

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 14, 2020

The Department of Transportation-Philippine National Railways (DOTr-PNR) will file cases against the officials of Barangay Halang in Calamba, Laguna for obstructing a PNR train on April 12 on the reason that the barangay is enforcing its own quarantine rules.

A Facebook video showed several people blocking the PNR tracks along Calamba.

“For delaying the corporate operation of a government front line agency, the DOTr and the PNR intend to file civil cases and is also coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for the filing of administrative cases against the barangay officials behind the obstruction of the train in Barangay Halang in Calamba City,” the DOTR-PNR said in a statement.

According to the department, the PNR is considered a frontliner in the country’s fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). It is also a reserve transport for the Armed Forces of Philippines (AFP), for delivering supplies, and other services.

“Obstructing the passage of the PNR train in Barangay Halang in Calamba City, is a clear violation of the PNR’s mandate to always make available its right of way to render public service,” the DOTr-PNR statement reads.

PNR head office work suspended until March 14 for disinfection ops

Robie de Guzman   •   March 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) on Thursday announced it is temporarily closing its head office in Manila to give way for disinfection amid the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the PNR said it will conduct cleaning and disinfecting of its Executive Building in Tondo from March 12, Thursday, until Sunday, March 14.

“All office works are also suspended during the said period,” it added.

In a separate statement, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said that the PNR has started the disinfection of its trains and facilities in every loop.

“For Metro South Commuter disinfecting point is at Tutuban station; For Metro North Commuter, servicing and disinfecting point is Governor Pascual station and for Bicol Commuter, servicing point is Naga station,” the DOTr said.

“Disinfecting procedure are done by service providers supervised and monitored by COVID19 Task Force composed of all Division and Department Managers of PNR and PNR Medical team,” it added.

The process includes wiping of disinfecting solution on hand rails, windows, seats and other train surfaces, mopping of train floors and spraying of disinfectant over the train coaches.

“Procedure would take 15-20 minutes while trains are undergoing refueling and servicing,” the DOTr said.

The department assured that the proper disposal of used chemicals and rags will be observed, and other usable cleaning materials are sterilized prior to use. These are also kept in a sealed container with sterilizing solution.

DILG orders PNP, local execs to monitor, arrest individuals who throw stones at PNR trains

Robie de Guzman   •   March 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Philippine National Police and barangay officials to closely monitor and arrest those who will throw stones at the newly-deployed trains of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año made the pronouncement following reports that the front glass windshields of new PNR trains were damaged by stones thrown along the tracks.

“Inaatasan ko ang ating kapulisan at ang mga barangay officials na nakatalaga malapit sa dinadaanan ng tren na maging mapagbantay at siguruhing hindi mapipinsala ang mga tren na ito para matagal pang magamit at mapakinabangan ng publiko,” Año said in a statement posted Monday.

He said reports on stone-throwing incidents are “alarming” as these have become a common incident in Metro Manila.

“Nakakalungkot na may mga taong sadyang mapaminsala at sinasabotahe ang mga proyekto ng pamahalaan tulad ng PNR trains kaya sa oras na mahuli sila ng ating kapulisan at mga taga-barangay, kalaboso aabutin nila,” he said.

“Leave our new PNR trains alone. Makisama naman po tayo, para po ito sa kapakinabangan ng ating mga kapwa Pilipino. Ang paninira sa mga proyekto ng pamahalaan ay labag sa batas at sinumang mahuli sa akto at mapatunayang may sala ay mananagot. Huwag na po natin itong paabutin pa doon,” he added.

The PNR on February 20 deployed two train sets, procured from Indonesian manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Apri (INKA) on Tutuban in Manila to Los Baños in Laguna. The new train sets are composed each of eight rail cars with four-car formation.

Año warned that police and barangay officials will not hesitate to arrest individuals or groups who will be caught red-handed no matter what age or social status they may be. 

He also encouraged the public to report to authorities if they have witnessed any act that inflicted damage on the trains.

“Tulong na po natin ito sa ating pamahalaan. Alagaan po natin ang mga bagong tren na ito sapagkat ito po ay para sa inyo. I-report ninyo po ang mga makikita ninyong paninira sa ating mga tren,” he said.

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