Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade announced on Wednesday that they are set to launch the Tutuban to Malolos portion of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project on Friday.
“This is again one project that has been long delayed. We will have a groundbreaking on Friday,” Tugade said during the contract signing for the design and build of a part of the Unified Grand Central Station or the common station which will connect the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) and the Metro Manila Subway.
The segment, known as the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1, will connect Tutuban in Divisoria, Manila to the city of Malolos in Bulacan.
The PNR Clark Phase 1 will have 10 stations spanning 38 kilometers and is expected to serve around 340,000 passengers daily once it starts operations in 2021.
“Travel to and from Bulacan is expected to reduce by 35 minutes from its current travel time of one and a half hours once PNR Clark Phase 1 is operational,” the DOTr said in a statement.
The department has selected Sumitomo-Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. to build the rail line.
The 147-kilometer NSCR Project estimated to cost around PHP777.55 billion will have 36 stations from Clark International Airport to Calamba, Laguna.
The railway project will connect PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban-Malolos) PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) & the PNR Calamba Project which will run from Manila to Calamba.
The NSCR System will also link with existing railway lines LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT-3 and the Metro Manila Subway.
The DOTr estimates the railway system to serve around 340,000 daily passengers once it starts partial operations in 2022 and daily ridership of 500,000 passengers once it becomes fully operational by 2023. (PNA)