NSCR, SLH to usher in railroads 'renaissance'

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) and the South Long Haul (SLH) will usher in the “renaissance” of the country’s railway industry.

The NSCR and SLH, which are nearing completion, would provide vital connectivity, particularly links to Metro Manila, and northern and southern Luzon, the agency added.

The two government flagship projects will not only elevate the country’s railway industry to global standards, but help ease traffic congestion, generate jobs and boost the economy.

The NSCR is a 147-kilometer railway system with 35 stations, 51 commuter train sets, and seven express train sets.

It is expected to serve 600,000 passengers daily and cut travel time from Calamba, Laguna to Clark, Pampanga from the present 4.5 hours by road to less than two hours by train once completed.

The three phases -- PNR Clark 1, PNR Clark 2, and PNR Calamba -- the P873.62 billion NSCR project's progress rate is at 55 percent as of January this year, latest DOTr data shows.

The SLH meanwhile, is a 577-kilometer railway system with 33 stations which will run from Metro Manila, passing through Batangas, all the way to Legazpi in Albay town, Bicol province.

It will be cutting the current 14 hours to 18 hours travel time by road to just six-hours via regular commuter trains or 4.5 hours through express trains.

The P175 billion SLH project started in 2019 and is expected to be fully operational by 2025.

During the 131st anniversary celebration of the Philippine National Railways last Friday, DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista said the country’s railway system will be revived once the NSCR and the SLH flagship projects are completed.

"This would usher in a renaissance of the country’s rail industry. We will build a railroad network that is world-class – one we’ll be proud of not only in Asia but the whole world. There will be new, modern, and fast trains running from Clark to Calamba, and all the way to Bicol. Jobs, a vibrant economy, and reliable public transport. These are what the NSCR and SLH projects promise to the Filipino people,” he said.

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