The daily plight of the passengers of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will soon be alleviated with the arrival of new train sets that will be deployed to add more trips to the country’s oldest railway system.
Indonesian Ambassador Dr. Sinyo Harry Sarundajang, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and PNR General Manager Junn Magno on Wednesday officially unveiled the first six Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) railcars acquired from Indonesia.
“Since we assumed the position in the office, it has always been our mission to uplift our passengers. These new train sets will help ease the daily commute of PNR passengers,” Tugade said during his speech.
“There is more to come for PNR. This 2020, passengers will be comfortable riding the train,” he added.
About 140,000 passengers will benefit in the improvement of the service and operations of PNR by next year, according to Tugade.
The first six DMU railcars that will form two train sets is for deployment on PNR’s FTI-Tutuban and FTI-Malabon routes starting 16 December.
Once deployed, the two train sets will add 18 to 20 trips per day increasing its operational capacity to better serve commuters in the Metro.
Magno said the PNR ordered a total of 37 rail cars from Indonesia. Thus, 31 more coaches are set to be delivered from December 2019 to February 2020.
He added that these will form part of the seven train sets of four- and five-car configurations.
Indonesian Ambassador Sarundajang said DMU railcars have high-technology features, components, and amenities.
Sarundajang said this type of railcars were assembled by skilled engineers and craftsmen from PT INKA in Indonesia.
He said even before the DMU cars reached the Philippines, it had already gone through extensive testing and commissioning in Indonesia in addition to a 150-hour test run.
New PNR routes
Last week, PNR also formally extended its route with the delivery of a new train set from Japan.
The existing PNR line starting from Tutuban, Manila gets five new flag stop stations past the Calamba station, namely, Pansol, Masili, Los Baños, College and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Included in the mainline now is one Kogane train set, which consists of three coaches that can accommodate up to 81 passengers.
Tugade said passengers can enjoy reclining and rotating seats, stowable tables, leg rests, and a comfort room inside the train.
The fare from Tutuban to Los Baños (IRRI) has been pegged at P150.
According to Magno, tests have been conducted among the new train sets to ensure smooth- operations of the extended services, and that more trips will be added over time.
“With the holiday season in full effect, we might increase the trip frequency the moment ridership improves.
Our engineering department has certified the line to be passable, and our Operations and Rolling Stock departments made the necessary preparation for the extension of the service,” Magno said.