By Raydes Barcia
Legazpi City— Few years from now Bicolanos may no longer endure the 12-hour travel time from Legazpi to Manila as the PNR South Long Haul express train project in Bicol will reduce the travel time to just 4-hour once operational here.
The first phase of the $2.76 billion (P142 billion) PNR South Long Haul project in Bicol is due to be finished in the third quarter of 2025.
When the entire line is complete in 2027, PNR Bicol passenger trains will run at a speed of up to 160km/h and freight trains will run at a speed of up to 100km/h.
PNR Bicol South Long Haul project is expected to reduce travel time between Manila and Legazpi City in Albay from the current 12 hours or so to just 4 hours using express trains.
Junn Magno, PNR general manager said that the China’s first EMU exported to the Philippines debuts “energy storage” plus “smart” to define future urban rail transit”.
The 160kph diesel EMU is the first domestic Chinese EMU train to be exported to the Philippines.
It has a business seat, a first-class seat, and a second-class seat, he said.
The configuration is rich, bringing passengers a brand-new, comfortable, beautiful and exquisite riding experience.
PNR Bicol will consist of a 565-kilometer railway, connecting Metro Manila to the southern Luzon provinces of Sorsogon and Batangas.
Once fully operational, it will cut travel time Legazpi City Metro Manila and Bicol from the current 12 hours by road to as short as 4 hours.
Passenger trains will run at a speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour, while freight trains will run at a speed of up to 100 kilometers per hour.
The PNR project is expected to generate more than 5,000 direct jobs per year during construction period.
The PNR Bicol South Long Haul project is to be funded through an official development assistance (ODA) loan from China.
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the joint venture of China Railway Group Ltd., China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group Co. Ltd., and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group Co. Ltd. (CREC JV) inked on January soa P142-billion Design-Build contract for the design, construction, and electromechanical works for the PNR Bicol project’s first 380 kilometers from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay.
The CREC joint venture, comprising China Railway Group, China Railway No. 3 Engineering Group, and China Railway Engineering Consulting Group will be responsible for the design, construction, and electromechanical works for the first 380 km of line from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay.
The project will also involve the construction of 23 stations, 230 bridges, 10 passenger tunnels, and a 70-hectare depot in San Pablo, Laguna.(Raydes Barcia)