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    Pampanga-Laguna railway project to cut travel time from 5 hours to just 1.5 hours

    While traveling to the tourist attractions in the Philippines is fun, it is also quite challenging. You might find yourself sitting in a seemingly endless bus ride to your destination – and that could actually be over 12 hours, depending on where you are going and what you are riding!
    Pampanga-Laguna railway project to cut travel time from 5 hours to just 1.5 hours

    Pampanga-Laguna PNR railway project Build Build Build
    Photo credit: Philippine National Railways


    Today, the regular travel time by bus from Pampanga to Laguna is around 5 hours, but this is soon set to change to just 1.5 hours as the government is one step closer to implementing the first phase of the North-South Commuter Railway project.

    Pampanga-Laguna PNR railway project Build Build Build
    Photo credit: Department of Finance / Entrepreneur Philippines

    On January 21, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement with the Philippines’ Department of Finance (DOF). The loan agreements worth 167.199 billion yen (Php80.78 billion) will cover the first phase of the project.

    Pampanga-Laguna PNR railway project Build Build Build
    Photo credit: Philippine National Railways

    Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said, “This signing ceremony for the 1st tranche of the loan for the North-South Commuter Railway will allow work to begin towards completing a high-capacity commuter service along a 147-kilometer corridor from Clark, Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna.”

    36 Stations, 15 Trains

    Costing a total of Php628.42 billion, the North-South Commuter Railway project will bring together the NSCR Phase 1 (Malolos-Tutuban), the PNR South Commuter Railway (Solis-Calamba), and the Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP), that will create a 147-km elevated, double-track, and seamless connection from Clark International Airport to Calamba, Laguna, with 36 stations.

    The North-South Railway Project
    The North-South Railway Project | Photo Credit: JICA website

    With a capacity of 15 trains with 8 cars each running per hour, the merged railway system is expected to make travel faster and easier for many travelers along these points. Each train is expected to carry a maximum of 2,200 passengers per trip.

    Pampanga-Laguna PNR railway project Build Build Build
    Photo credit: Philippine National Railways

    “Operating speed will reach up to 160 kilometers per hour, cutting the travel time between Clark and Calamba from the current 5 hours by bus to as little as 1.5 hours. This is an immense improvement over any other transit option available today,” Dominguez explained.

    Pampanga-Laguna PNR railway project Build Build Build
    Photo credit: Philippine National Railways

    Once fully operational, the railway project will have a capacity of 550,500 daily passengers, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) projected. The project is set to be partially operational in 2022 before becoming fully operational in 2023.

    According to the agreement, the loan has a repayment term of 40 years, with a 12-year grace period.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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