The Revival of Rail Infrastructure in the Philippines

The Revival of Rail Infrastructure in the Philippines

Among the many projects being implemented by the government, the Malolos – Clark section of the North-South Commuter Railway in Manila is a major showcase. Its construction will presage the wider rail investment program in the Philippines. Here are some of the key projects under consideration. You can check out the project status, cost, and timeline in this article. We hope you find it helpful.

Projects

As the country prepares for a new phase in its development, the government is planning to modernise its railway network. In particular, LRMC has proposed a QR code-based ticketing system, which will allow customers to buy tickets through mobile applications. Upon implementation, the new system is expected to improve the country’s rail service by 2022. The population of many cities in the Philippines is projected to double within the next 20 years, and current urban rail systems cannot accommodate the new increase in ridership. Consequently, the government has allocated PHP106.3 billion for the revival of the rail network.

Manila’s transit system is undergoing major upgrades, and the country’s federal government has signed contracts with Chinese counterparts to finance the North-South Commuter Railway. These deals were later cancelled, but the government has been keen to make improvements to its railway system. The city’s rail network currently has just 50 km of operational routes and serves only a fraction of its daily trips. Its railway system could help alleviate some of the traffic congestion in the Philippines and help the country become more economically competitive.

Cost

The Philippine government has begun a series of rehabilitation projects to increase ridership. Once completed, these projects will increase capacity and ridership throughout the rail system. The cost of such projects will depend on whether they are fully funded or not. In the long run, though, these projects are expected to reduce travel time, improve safety and improve service. And even if they are fully funded, they will be more affordable than implementing a national rail service.

The Philippine government has allocated PHP106.3 billion to revive rail infrastructure. The government has pledged to appoint a special commission to oversee the project. It is unclear how much of the cost the project will require, but it will be substantial. In addition to the costs, there will be a need for significant upgrades to existing infrastructure Philippines. To this end, the government should make an appropriate plan to fund such projects.

Status

The North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project is one of the most ambitious projects in the country. It will link the business districts in the north with the capital city, Makati City, and the southern province of Pampanga. Construction on this project began this year, and the line will link Tutuban in Manila with Malolos City. The project will also include the country’s first airport rail shuttle. It will operate at 120 km/h, and will be fully operational by the end of the year. The NSCR is estimated to cost around P2.5 trillion.

Among the government’s stimulus plans, the rail sector is expected to benefit the most. It has been allocated US$35bn, about 5% of the total stimulus budget. The government hopes to establish a 1200-km rail network in the next few years, with the largest investments being made in the Metro Manila and Mindanao. This investment should help the country recover from the recent economic slowdown, and it will provide a temporary boost to local employment.

Timeline

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is the government-owned railway system in the country. During the American colonial period, the Panay railway was built between Iloilo City and Roxas City. It stopped operating in 1985, but revival proposals have been around for nearly two decades. One of the new plans would be to extend the railway to Malay, Aklan, where Boracay Island is located. Although the railway system was abandoned at that time, it still exists today as a state-owned company.

The MRT9 project is a 36-km underground rail line. It is the country’s first fully underground rail line. It will serve 15 stations in Quezon City and Pasig City, and provide interchange with other lines. The first section of the project is scheduled to open next year, but that depends on the effects of the pandemic. After the war, jeepneys were the main means of transportation in Manila, and traffic congestion became a problem.

By kazim kabir

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