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Hassle-free train commute

Pat C. Santos

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“Development comes in when trains start rolling,” Department of Transportation (DoTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said yesterday to send off two new Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DMU) trains of the state-owned Philippine National Railways (PNR) at the Tutuban station in Tondo, Manila.

The two new train adds to the operation of an earlier two units of Indonesian-made locomotives to bring the total of new PNR engines to four.

During the blessing ceremony, Tugade thanked the Indonesian government and PNR general manager Junn Magno for realizing the Filipinos’ dream of seeing a revival of the PNR’s glory.

“The most important thing right now is the promise of delivering our commitment to the people upon the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to make Filipinos’ lives easy and comfortable” Tugade explained.

Comfortable travel option

The new trains are all fully air conditioned and each can carry 1,200 passengers per trip with a queuing time of 20 to 30 minutes for each train.

Magno said prior to the arrival of the new trains, the interval between the units lasts from one to one and a half hours.

Magno also indicated that the Alabang route will open soon. The route was put on hold after the stone-throwing incident that marred the dry run of the new trains.

9 new train sets

“Isn’t the huge difference in the trains now plied by Philippine National Railways (PNR) from those available before truly astonishing? This is the product of the cooperative spirit within the PNR,” added the DoTr chief.

Magno said the event is a testament to the commitment of PNR to fully revive its stature as the primary transport system of the land.

“This is delivery of a promise. Last December we told everyone that we will be delivering two sets every month. I told Secretary Tugade that we have a delivery by December, next in February, March, April until May. By the first half of 2020, we should have nine new sets,” he said.

PNR showcased the upgraded features of the new DMU trains which included additional hand-holds available in the middle area, polycarbonate glass windows, tropicalized air-conditioning and door detectors.

Magno thanked the men and women of PNR who worked hard for the realization of this initiative, as well as to Tugade who has been very supportive of the PNR.

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