Philippine National Railways (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) is fast making headway with the arrival of trains in December 2021.

The training simulator for the PNR Clark Phase 1 project will be delivered earlier — between September and October, —DOTr Secretary Art Tugade announced recently.

“The trains for the project will arrive in December. The DOTr is preparing a depot for them,” Tugade, who visited the Valenzuela and Bulacan segments of the NSCR) project this week, said in a news release.

After four attempts to build it, the PNR Clark Phase 1 project did not take off until the Duterte administration assumed office.

Currently, the construction of the rail project is at a 45.82 percent overall progress rate. Girders will be set on piles over the next two weeks.

Conceptualized in 1993 and with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the PNR Clark Phase 1 Project is a 38-kilometer railway that runs from the Tutuban Station in Manila, through the cities of Caloocan and Valenzuela and the municipalities of Meycuayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, and ends in Malolos City, Bulacan.

Meanwhile, the PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos – Clark) is a 54-kilometer rail line that will also feature the country’s first-ever Airport Express, expected to reduce travel time from the Clark International Airport in Pampanga to Makati City to about an hour.

Shelved for two decades, the PNR Clark Phase 2 Project is now at a 28.79 percent overall progress rate.

Completing the PNR NSCR Project is the PNR Clark Phase 3 Manila – Calamba section.

The NSCR Project forms part of the Duterte administration’s flagship “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure development program, which aims to provide efficient mass transportation and spur economic activities. (PR)