New PNR fleet arrives

MANILA--The arrival of one diesel multiple unit (DMU) from its Korean manufacturer Hyundai-Rotem on Thursday, March 19, marked the start of a series of shipments of new trains for the Philippine National Railways.

The 42-ton aluminum-bodied DMU was delivered to the Philippines aboard the cargo ship Asian Chorus. The new trains will be used mainly in the commuter lines of the PNR in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces. The Phase I (Tutuban-Calamba) of PNR rehabilitation project, which consists of repair of stations, bridges, improvement of railroad tracks, and acquisition of signaling and communication facilities, is nearing completion.

Fifteen more new coaches will be shipped on May, while partial commissioning and inauguration is set on April 15.

The new trains are deemed to help solve Manila’s traffic problems by serving the commuter line from Tutuban to Calamba in Laguna. Manila- Bikol (Phase II) line is currently under rehabilitation after a series of typhoons made portions of the route impossible for train operations.

In earlier reports, PNR General Manager Ower Andal expressed desire for the resumption of train services on Bikol line by September this year. Repair works in Bikol had already began on December 2008.