The Philippine Department of Transportation (DOTr) will build a new railway that would connect Manila to Central Luzon at a cost of PHP 255 billion.
The 106-km railway project that will run from Tutuban, Manila to Clark, Pampanga is among the high-impact projects of President Rodrigo Duterte under the government’s ‘Build Build Build’ infrastructure program.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said: “For the first time, a rail project will connect Manila to Central Luzon and it will be completed under the Duterte administration.”
With this rail project, the two-hour travel time from Manila to Clark will be cut down to just 55 minutes. The rail system stands to benefit 350,000 passengers daily on its first year of operations.
There will be 17 train stations – Marilao and Meycauayan in Bulacan, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Tutuban in Metro Manila; Solis, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Malolos, Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, Clark International Airport, and the proposed New Clark City in Pampanga.
Philippine National Railways (PNR) General Manager Jun Magno said the project is seen to decongest Metro Manila and spread economic gains throughout the country.
“This project will ease traffic congestion and help thousands of commuters coming from Bulacan and Pampanga who travel daily to their workplaces or schools in Metro Manila,” Magno said.
Construction of the railway project will start in the last quarter of 2017 and will be completed by the last quarter of 2021. The project will be funded through Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan. The whole line will have 13 train sets with eight cars or coaches per train set. Each train can reach a maximum speed of 120 km per hour.