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DOTr plans to integrate new railway lines

/ 05:36 AM February 16, 2019

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is working to integrate its new railway lines as it revealed a connection between its massive Metro Manila subway and the so-called North South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

Timothy John Batan, Transportation undersecretary for railways, said they were studying a possible connection between the subway project and the NSCR in Bicutan.

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The subway will span more than 30 kilometers and will run from Quezon City to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Southern Metro Manila. The NSCR will run 147 km and will link the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna, via Bulacan and Manila.

The subway project, which has yet to begin, will also be connected to the Metro Rail Transit Line 3, MRT 7 to Bulacan and the Light Rail Transit Line 7 via the government’s common station project in Quezon City.

The DOTr is expecting to finish the subway project by 2025, however, it committed to open the first three stations in Quezon City by 2022, or when President Duterte’s term ends. The NSCR will also be opened in phases through 2022.

Both the subway and the NSCR will be mainly funded by the Japanese government.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said he would be flying to Japan this week to inspect the boring equipment that would be used to drill tunnels in the ground for the subway project.

The subway’s groundbreaking date has been a moving target, however, Tugade said they were eyeing the ceremonial event on Feb. 26 this year.

On Friday, the DOTr also started “full blown construction works” for the Philippine National Railways’ Clark 1, part of the NSCR.

This phase will span 38 km and will run from Tutuban, Manila and Malolos, Bulacan— cutting travel time to just over 30 minutes. The project is expected to serve 300,000 passengers daily during its first year, eventually going up to one million passengers a day.

On Jan. 23, Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Construction was tapped to build the project.

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