8 rail projects done or partly operational by 2022: DOTr

Eight railway infrastructure projects are scheduled for either completion or partial operations before or by 2022, increasing the country’s route length to 1,209 kilometers (km) from just 77 km in 2016, according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

These projects include Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2) East (Masinag) Extension, Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) Rehabilitation, Common Station, LRT Line 1 Cavite Extension, MRT-7, Philippine National Railways (PNR) Clark Phase 1, key facilities of the Metro Manila Subway Project, and Mindanao Rail Project.

The ongoing construction of PNR Clark Phase 1, which runs from Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan, has a 43% overall progress as of January 2021. Partial operation of key facilities is slated for the fourth quarter of 2021, and full operations by the second quarter of 2024.

Rail replacement works for MRT-3 were completed in December 2020 while full rehabilitation will be completed by December of this year.

The LRT-1 (Cavite) Extension Project Package 1 will begin partial operations in the fourth quarter of this year. The project will extend the existing LRT Line 1 system from Baclaran, Parañaque to Bacoor, Cavite.

LRT-2 East (Masinag) Extension Project, which runs from Marikina Station to Antipolo Station, will be inaugurated on April 26, 2021 and commence partial operations the next day. As of January 31, the project has a 96.29% overall progress rate.

The Tagum-Davao-Digos segment of Mindanao Railway Project Phase 1 is targeted to start partial operations in March 2022.

MRT-7 will be partially operational in December 2021 and fully operational in December 2022.

Tunnel boring for the Metro Manila Subway Project will start in the third quarter of 2021.

Transportation Undersecretary Timothy John Batan said that by 2022, the railway route will lengthen to 1,209 km from just 77 km in 2016, while railway stations will increase to 168 from 61 and train cars will grow to 1,381 units from 234 in 2016.

Batan said that of the P7.74 trillion worth of infrastructure projects by the government, P1.7 trillion is allotted for railways, funded by a mix of official development assistance packages, general appropriations, and public-private partnership (PPP) contracts.

Majority of the funding comes from Japan International Cooperation Agency with P796.58 billion, followed by the Asian Development Bank with P444.60 billion, the Chinese government with P307.04 billion, PPP deals with P107.76 billion, and general appropriations with P13.07 billion.

Other railway projects in the pipeline include the LRT-1 West Extension, MRT-4, North-South Commuter Railway, PNR South Long Haul, and Subic-Clark Railway.

(For the full article, please visit PORTCALLS)

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