PNR Clark Phase 2 project hits snag

Due to the delays, the DoTr said the project’s planned completion in June 2024 will be rescheduled to June 2025

The completion of the Philippine National Railways Clark Phase 2 Project was pushed back after the Department of Transportation found out that there was a delay in the turnover of land critical for the project completion.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista revealed on Monday that the project contractor POSCO Engineering and Construction indicated “a delayed turn-over of the land as cause for the extension in completion of the project.”

Bautista led an inspection of the Clark Depot of the Clark Phase 2 segment (Malolos-Clark) of the North-South Commuter Railway Project yesterday morning.

“This is a very important part of the NSCR, considering the operations control center of the project will be located here. The operations control center is the heart of the operations,” Bautista said.

“It is important that we complete this as planned and on time. I know that there are issues that need to be resolved. The DoTr will work closely with (the contractor), so we can fix problems and address issues (about the project),” he added.

Due to the delays, the DoTr said the project’s planned completion in June 2024 will be rescheduled to June 2025.

“We promised the President that we will finish the project as agreed on the timeline that we set. I just want to see to it that we work together and finish this project on time,” Bautista said.

Before the 36-hectare site was turned over by the government to POSCO, several fruit-bearing trees were cut down, causing the delay.

POSCO will construct 48 buildings and facilities at the depot site. As of the end of 2022, more than 33 percent of the planned construction has been completed.

The Clark Depot has 33 stabling tracks to serve as the parking area for the trains and 12 other tracks to access the maintenance facilities.

Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the PNR Clark Phase 2 is the second leg of the North-South Commuter Rail Project. It aims to link cities and municipalities in Central Luzon with Metro Manila and help spur economic activity in nearby provinces.

Once completed, the 53-kilometer rail line will cut travel time between Malolos, Bulacan, and Clark, Pampanga from one and a half hours to just 30 minutes.

It will also feature the country’s first-ever Airport Railway Express Service, connecting Makati to the Clark International Airport in just 55 minutes.

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