PNR rolls out 2 new trains for Tutuban-Alabang route

Robie de Guzman   •   February 20, 2020   •   1009

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) on Thursday deployed its two new trains to operate in Tutuban-Alabang route after its send-off ceremony and class assignment.

According to PNR general manager Junn Magno, the new trainsets which are part of the 8100 series of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) consist of four cars each and can carry up to 1,000 passengers per trip.

The train sets, which were acquired from Indonesian company PT Inka, are equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, air conditioning units, and handrails for increased passenger capacity and safety.

The trains also feature poly-carbonate windows capable of withstanding moderate damage caused by thrown rocks, and automatic safety doors equipped with a sensory feature that will easily open should someone or something is caught in between.

With the new trains, the Tutuban-Alabang route will now have a total of five trains.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, meanwhile, assured that PNR fare rates will not increase despite the deployment of new trainsets.

He also called on the public to be alert and immediately report any stone-throwing incident targeting PNR train units.

“Gusto nating manatiling matagal ang paggamit ng ating mga tren kailangan yung kooperasyon ng lahat gamitin ng tama huwag gumawa ng perwisyo, wag maging pasaway,” he said.

Magno said these train sets are part of the 37 railcars and three locomotives procured by the PNR which are expected to be completely delivered in the coming months.

“Hahabulin po natin na by the end of 2020, we should have enough capacity to serve the southern and part of the northern. Bubuksan na rin po natin yung Valenzuela line para ma-off load rin natin ang EDSA,” he said.

The PNR earlier deployed two other new trains to operate in Tutuban-FTI route in Taguig.

Once the delivery of new train sets is completed, PNR’s current 20,000 passenger capacity is expected to increase to 92,000, inching closer to its target of 200,000 daily passengers in the region. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

DOTr eyes partial operations of Cebu bus rapid transit this year

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is eyeing to partially open Cebu’s bus rapid transit (BRT) system within this year.

In a statement on Monday, the DOTr said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered “round-the-clock” construction work to achieve the targeted partial operability of the Package 1 of the Cebu BRT project this year.

Package 1 covers the 2.6-kilometer busway with four stations, urban realm enhancement, and vital intersection improvements.

“Currently, Package 1 is already at the procurement stage,” the DOTr said.

The department said Tugade wants the procurement process fast tracked and to ensure that the project’s work schedule and timeline of completion will be aligned with the election ban next year.

Once completed, the 13.2-kilometer bus rapid transit lane will traverse the South Road Properties (SRP) through Mambaling, up to IT Park, with 17 stations, two terminals, and one depot.

When finished, the Cebu BRT is seen to serve around 60,000 passengers daily.

Tugade said the realization of the Cebu BRT will “improve passenger mobility along the project’s corridors.”

“It will also provide an option that is swift, comfortable, cost-effective, efficient, and will generate fewer emissions that reduce both local and global pollution,” he added.

Bicol International Airport construction progress rate now at 72.2% — DOTr

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The construction of the Bicol International Airport (BIA) project is moving at a fast pace, logging an overall progress rate of 72.2 percent, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Wednesday.

The actual construction of the airport started in December 2016.

It is comprised of Packages 2A and 2B. The DOTr said that as of January 13, 2021, the package 2A of the BIA Development project is now 88.2 percent complete.

Construction work in Package 2A is being handled by the Sunwest Construction and Development Corp. and covers the airport’s landside facilities, such as the Administration Building, Air Traffic Control Building, Crash Fire Rescue Building, and the Maintenance Building.

Package 2B of the airport project, meanwhile, is now 49.5 percent complete. Package 2B which is being handled by the E.M. Cuerpo construction company, covers the construction of the passenger terminal building (PTB), taxiway, runway extension, and other site development works.

Once completed, the Bicol International Airport, which features the iconic Mayon Volcano as its magnificent backdrop, is expected to serve a total of 2 million airline passengers every year.

The new international airport is also projected to boost air traffic in the region amid the existing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

The BIA initially started construction in 2008. However, development works were uncompleted until 2012.

“When the Duterte administration came in 2016, the airport’s Package 2A and 2B projects were continued,” the DOTr said in a statement.

An important component of the Duterte Administration’s “Build, Build, Build” Program, the BIA also intends to be an instrumental in the transformation of Albay Province, and the rest of the Bicol Region, into a strong economic contender.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade stressed the importance of having continuous transport infrastructure developments such as the BIA, which will prove vital as the country starts recovering from the impact of COVID-19.

“It can’t be denied that the aviation sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. That’s why it is important that we finish the airport at the soonest possible time, as this will absolutely give the economy a boost,” Tugade said.

“Gusto ko matapos ‘yan within the year dahil gusto na natin itong agad na mapakinabangan ng ating mga kababayan. As we ready for take-off, kung baga, dapat all systems go,” he added.

PNR unveils new train sets with increased capacity

Robie de Guzman   •   December 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Railways (PNR) officially unveiled on Wednesday its newest train sets that are expected to increase the railway’s capacity.

The train sets were unveiled in a ceremony at the Manila Harbour Center, attended by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and other officials.

The PNR said its latest train sets consist of three locomotive and 15 passenger coaches with a passenger capacity of 1,250 per set per train.

The train sets have a maximum design speed of 120 kilometers per hour and feature a water wading capacity of 18 inches.

The PNR said these trains are part of the management’s strategy of re-fleeting in 2018.

The delivery of the train sets completes the 37 cars and 3 locomotives procured in 2018, it added.

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