PNR’s new trains from Indonesia now fully operational

Marje Pelayo   •   January 29, 2021   •   1089

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Railway (PNR) inaugurated on Thursday (January 28) three new diesel hydraulic locomotives (DHL) with 15 passenger coaches that were built in Indonesia.

The new train sets are designed to provide commuters smoother and more convenient rides from the Tutuban Station in Manila to Los Baños in Laguna.

With the addition of the new train sets, the PNR Metro Commuter Line now targets to serve a total of 140,000 passengers daily, doubling its existing capacity from 48,000 to 60,000 per day.

Thursday’s inaugural run from the PNR Dela Rosa Station in Makati to the Manila Tutuban Station was graced by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, PNR General Manager Junn Magno as well as representatives from the Republic of Indonesia Embassy in Manila, and representatives from PT Industri Kereta Api (PT-INKA) the firm that made the train sets.

Secretary Tugade said the inaugural run of the new train sets assures the riding public of safe, convenient, and comfortable travels.

“Ngayon po, patuloy na binabago natin ang PNR. ‘Kailan darating ang bagong tren?’ Ngayon po, dumating na ang bagong tren. At ‘Kailan naman natin masasakyan ang bagong tren?’ Ngayon po, pasisinayaan at sasakyan natin ang mga bagong tren,” Secretary Tugade said.

The new train sets are part of the PNR Management Re-fleeting Strategy which involves the delivery of train sets composed of 37 cars and three locomotives procured in 2018.

Meanwhile, GM Magno explained that the train sets are composed of three diesel hydraulic locomotives and 15 coaches equivalent to nine train sets.

Each train can accommodate 1,330 passengers per set in a single trip but due to physical distance the capacity is scaled down to 700 passengers per trip.

The train sets have a maximum design speed of 120 kilometers per hour, with high clearance for flooded tracks. 

Each train set features an interior access to the engine room, the first of its kind for the PNR fleet. 

The train sets are also equipped with 36,000 kilocalories per hour of air conditioning in each coach that is suitable for tropical countries like the Philippines.

Among its main features is the diesel hydraulic engine which can run even in floodwater.

“Itong mga tren na ito lahat ng equipment nilipat natin lahat sa locomotive pati mga generator so kapag tinignan nyo ilalim nyan wala nang laman,” Magno said.

“So pwede siyang pumunta sa baha hanggang 18 inches na tubig above nung top nung rail,” he added.

The official, meanwhile, asks residents living near the train rails not to throw anything on the passing trains.

“Iyong mga tren po natin although matitibay iyan mga bago yan hindi na nababasag ang salamin,” Magno explained.

“Huwag nyo na pong subukan para po sa ating nga kababayan iyan. Ipe-fence off napo namin. Maguumpisa na ang construction dito sa North-South Commuter railway. Ipe-fence off na po namin ang right of way,” he said. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

AFP turns over rescued kidnap victims to Indonesian government

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has turned over four rescued kidnap victims of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) to the Indonesian government.

AFP Chief Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana on Tuesday (March 23) led the turnover ceremony at the General Headquarters Canopy Area in Camp Aguinaldo. The Indonesian Embassy led by Charge d’affaires, Widya Rahmanto received the kidnap victims.

“The kidnap victims have been held captive by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) for more than a year and through the AFP’s relentless efforts, the ASG who were based in Sulu, were driven out of their comfort zones and mass base, which eventually led to the successful rescue operation last week in Tawi-Tawi,” Sobejana said.

The four Indonesians namely, Riswanto Bin Hayono, Arical Kastamiran, Arsyad Bin Dahalan, and Khairuldin Bin Yai Kii were flown to Manila from Zamboanga City on Sunday (March 21).

Hayono, Kastamiran and Dahalan were among the rescued individuals in South Ubian, Tawi-Tawi on March 18 by Tandubas Police. Meanwhile, the 15-year old Yai Kii was rescued by elements of the Joint Task Force Tawi-Tawi on Sunday in Kalupag Island, Languyan, Tawi-Tawi. AAC

 

Indonesian divers to retrieve black boxes from plane wreckage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 11, 2021

Retrieval operations are underway after the Indonesia National Transport Safety Committee located two black boxes of Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 that crashed on January 9.

The black boxes, or the flight data recorders can help in determining the cause of the plane crash.

On Sunday (January 10), Indonesian authorities said they found the location of the black boxes after retrieving several parts of the plane’s fuselage. Several bodies of the passengers were also found and retrieved.

The Sriwijaya Air Jet was carrying 62 people en route to Pontianak in West Kalimantan. It disappeared from the radar a few minutes after it took flight.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered the National Transport Safety Committee to conduct an investigation into the incident.

This is the first major crash in Indonesia since 2018, where 189 passengers and crew were killed after a Lion Air Boeing 737 Max crashed into the Java sea after its take off from Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. AAC (with reports from Salvie Alvarez)

PNR starts AI surveillance system to track potential COVID-19 carriers

Marje Pelayo   •   November 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is now focusing its development program into using state-of-the-art technologies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In line with this, the agency formally launched its Artificial Intelligence Surveillance System and Command Center as part of its digitalization strategy for 2020. 

The PNR had a pilot run of its AI surveillance system to monitor the situations at train tracks during the onslaught of the recent Typhoon Ulysses.

To detect potential COVID-19 carriers, the new and advanced system deployed in 17 stations and 15 level crossings, is equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) cameras that are capable of self learning and are able to recognize faces. 

Thermographic fever screening cameras are installed primarily to detect passengers with possible COVID-19 infection by scanning their temperature. 

Aside from temperature, the system can also detect if a person is wearing a facemask or face shield, and will notify the operator if passengers are not following social distancing protocols. 

Also, its ‘appearance search technology’ feature enables the system to locate individuals within the facility, and an Identity Correlation Report that lists all locations where a potential infected person has been, can be generated for contact tracing.

Its network is connected through a 10G fiber backbone and in case of power interruption, the command center can rely on standby power back-up systems for continuous operation. 

In a statement, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said that he is “deeply proud and inspired of the significant milestones that the PNR has reached – given the toughest of times”. MNP / Raymund David

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