CLARK FREEPORT -- Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said the travel time between Makati and Clark airport will be done in less than one hour once the airport railway, which is part of the North South Commuter Railway (NSCR), is completed.
"Since the NSCR will feature the country's first airport express train service allowing travelers to get from Makati to Clark Airport in under one hour, we can consider it as a trailblazing project," Tugade said.
To achieve this, he said trains will run at 160 kilometers per hour, making it one of the fastest modes of land public transportation.
"The country's first airport railway express service will soon start construction as the first two contract packages for the Philippine National Railways Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark) segment of the NSCR project were signed over the weekend," he said.
Tugade led the virtual signing of the contracts, marking the commencement of civil works for the 53-kilometer extension that will bring passengers from Makati City in Metro Manila to Clark International Airport in Pampanga in just under one hour.
The first signing was made for Contract Package N-04, which covers the civil engineering and building works for approximately 6.3 kilometers of the main line and 1.6 kilometers of the depot's access line with an underground station serving Clark International Airport.
Also signed was Contract Package N-05, which covers the civil engineering and building works for the Clark Railway Depot. The depot covers an overall area of approximately 33 hectares. The contract covers the construction of the Operations Control Center, stabling yard, workshops, training center and other ancillary buildings in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Tugade described the signing of contracts as very timely.
He said the civil works contracts will help kick-start the economic revival of the Philippines over the next 12 months as the country faces the pandemic.
"Under the railway project, we estimate that 24,000 local construction jobs will be directly created during the next three years. And another at least 14,000 jobs needed for operating the railway system," he added.
Upon its partial operation by 2022, PNR Clark Phase 2 will connect Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport. It will cut down travel time to 30-35 minutes, from the original 1 hour and 30 minutes.