The Malolos-Valenzuela phase of the Philippine National Railways’ (PNR) North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project is expected to be operational by December this year, an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Wednesday.
During a site inspection of the railway, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan said PNR Clark North 1 — which will connect Tutuban, Manila to Malolos, Bulacan — will have its train depot at the Valenzuela Station.
Batan said trains from the depot will then pass through Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, until it reaches Malolos.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the PNR Clark North 1 project is currently 45.82-percent complete and will be finsihed by the second quarter of 2024.
“This is very historical because there have been four attempts at making this project since 1993, and only now did we begin construction,” Tugade said in Filipino.
He said his personal inspection of the construction site proves that the project continues to move forward despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Maybe you want to ask why I’m inspecting while there’s Covid-19. This is to show everyone that the project will continue on,” Tugade said in Filipno.
He noted that the training simulator for the train service will arrive in the country between September and October while the trains will arrive in December.
The PNR Clark North 1, funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is a 38-kilometer railway with 10 stations that will cut across the cities of Manila, Caloocan, Valenzuela, and the municipalities of Meycauayan, Marilao, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, and Malolos.
Once completed, the rail service is expected to serve 300,000 passengers daily and will reduce travel time from Malolos to Tutuban, and vice versa, from an hour and 30 minutes to only 35 minutes.