New PNR Central Station in Naga City Seen

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

LEGAZPI CITY, May 7 (PNA) - The Philippine National Railways (PNR) management announced Wednesday that construction of new central station in Naga city to serve as railway terminal in Bikol is expected to be completed before the end of 2009.

Nicolas Beda Priela, Private Sector Consultant to the PNR, told members of the Regional Development Council (RDC) during the full council meeting that repair and rehabilitation of rail tracks and bridges were on-going.

He said the PNR south rail rehabilitation and reopening of Manila-Bikol line include the refurbishing of two locomotive engines and five passenger coaches stranded at the PNR Naga Station since Typhoons Milenyo and Reming in 2006, and repair of selected train stations between the coverage area.

Other works to be undertaken for the reopening of the Manila-Bikol line were the replacement of rotten wooden ties with concrete ties, replacement of rotten bridge and switch ties, widening of embankments, construction of concrete lined ditch canals, refurbishment of rolling stocks including locomotive engines, passenger coaches as well as freight cars.

"Our target completion will be on December 2009 and target full operation is on May 2010," Priela said.

For the partial mechanization of track maintenance, the management will also implement full computerization of all PNR operational systems procedures.

On the initial stage were the improvement and strengthening of two major bridges and seven minor bridges; improvement of drainage system; provision of protection devices in 46 road-rail level crossings; rehabilitation of stations and flag stops; rehabilitation of signaling and communication equipment and facilities, and acquisition of 15 train sets.

"All these are now on its initial stage," Priela said.

He also said that upgrading and implementation of the south rail and Sorsogon Extension Project Phase 1-A are included in the major short term rehabilitation plan of the PNR Bicol line.

The components of south rail-Sorsogon Extension Project include: a) upgrading from rehabilitation of the existing narrow gauge rail to establishment of new standard gauge rail tracks alongside the existing Manila-Bikol line; b) implementation of the upgraded project with the new standard gauge rail for the high speed passenger train service. (PNA)