High-speed rail to Clark seen running by 2022
By 2022, Metro Manila will be connected to the international airport at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga via a Japan-funded high-speed rail system to be built in line with the government’s plan to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Based on a preliminary document obtained by the Inquirer, work on the Malolos-Clark Railway Project or Philippine National Railways North 2’s first phase connecting the Bulacan town to Clark International Airport will start in the second quarter of 2019 and would be completed by the second quarter of 2022.
A second phase that will connect Clark International Airport to the soon-to-rise Clark Green City will be implemented in 2022-2024.
The Malolos-Clark Railway Project will be funded by official development assistance (ODA) from Japan, as earlier requested by the Department of Transportation, the implementing agency.
Total project cost for the two phases is estimated at P211.42 billion.
The initial phase of 50.5 kilometers from the Malolos end of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) up to the Clark airport will have five stations—Malolos, Apalit, San Fernando City, Clark and Clark International Airport.
ODA worth $2.42-billion—a record high—from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) is funding the bulk of the $2.88-billion total cost of the 38-kilometer NSCR that will connect Tutuban, Manila and Malolos.
A Jica briefing paper earlier showed that the government targeted to start operations of the NSCR by 2021 or 2022, with actual construction slated to start within the first half of 2019.
The second phase of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project running 19 kilometers will connect the airport to Clark Green City through three more stations—Calumpit, Angeles City and Clark Green City.
Government estimates showed that the number of passengers expected to use the railway system would increase from 56,000 in 2022 to 272,000 in 2025 and 427,000 in 2035.
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