Trains of the New Flagship Malolos-Clark Railway Will Roll by 2022

The Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP) is an elevated 53.1km-long railway connecting the City of Malolos to Clark Economic Zone and Clark International Airport (CIA) in Pampanga. This is financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for $2.75 billion.

ADB will be financing civil works of the Malolos–Clark Railway Project, including the stations, bridges, and viaducts for the elevated railway alignment, and a tunnel leading to the underground station at Clark International Airport. It will also assist the government in using global standards for procurement and environmental and resettlement safeguards.

Malolos-Clark Railway Project

Malolos-Clark Railway Project
ADB’s infographic on the $2.75-billion Malolos-Clark railway project

The MCRP is a part of the 163km-long North-South Commuter Railway project (NSCR), which aims to connect New Clark City to Calamba by 2025. NSCR is a flagship project of the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure development program aimed at reducing traffic congestion in Metro Manila and boosting economic growth.

According to the ADB website, “the Malolos–Clark Railway Project will provide safe, reliable, and affordable public transport for a total of about 342,000 passengers expected to travel daily along the Manila–Clark corridor and up to 696,000 passengers per day to Calamba by 2025. It is estimated to cut the travel time from Metro Manila to Clark International Airport to less than one hour by rail, compared with 2 to 3 hours by car or bus today. The project is expected to be partially operational from 2022.

The Malolos-Clark Railway Project will be built on an elevated alignment, helping reduce the impact on communities, avoid disruption of activities, and mitigate flood risks along the route. It will use innovative construction methods such as pre-fabricated viaduct segments, which limits the need for land acquisition and accelerates construction. High-quality construction methods will be used to achieve the maximum rail speed of up to 160 km per hour.

Winning Contractors

The Malolos-Clark Railway Project will be worked on by the different winning contractors.

DOTr awarded the first contract to the Acciona Construction Philippines and EEI Corporation joint venture (JV) for the construction of 6.3km-long main railway lines and 1.6km of the depot access line.

The second contract was awarded to POSCO Engineering and Construction to build a 33ha depot, as well as a railway operations control center in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

The consortium of Megawide Construction Corp. (Megawide) and its Korean partners Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd. bagged the third contract to build a 17-kilometer segment of the Malolos-Clark Railway Project.

Other segments of the project are not yet awarded to any contractors according to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) but the bidding process is still ongoing as of writing this article

Phase 1 – Tutuban-Malolos Railway Project

Trains of the New Flagship Malolos-Clark Railway Will Roll by 2022 1
PNR Line Tutuban to Malolos — List of Stations (Photo from JICA YouTube Channel)

The Malolos-Clark Railway is planned to have an interchange to connect to the Tutuban-Malolos Commuter Railway.

The PNR Line Tutuban to Malolos is part of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project, also known as the Clark-Calamba Railway. The North-South Commuter Railway Project aims to connect the Metropolitan Manila area with nearby cities on a south-north axis covering approximately 38 kilometers between Tutuban in Manila and Malolos in Bulacan in the north.

The Tutuban to Malolos railway project is funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for P12.1 billion. The project is to be undertaken as an Official Development Assistance (ODA) program of Japan based on a loan aid agreement between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Philippines government.

Sumitomo Corporation and Japan Transport Engineering Company have received an order from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) of the Republic of the Philippines to supply 104 train cars for the contract package CP03 of the country’s North-South Commuter Railway Project Phase I (between Tutuban, Manila and Malolos, Bulacan). The CP03 contract was signed last July 16, 2019.

Under the CP03 contract, 104 train cars (eight cars × 13 trainsets) will be designed, manufactured, tested, and delivered to DOTr with a warranty, helping to strengthen the Metropolitan Manila traffic network and alleviate traffic congestion.

The contract amount is approximately USD 230 million and the trainsets are scheduled to be fully delivered by February 2023 according to the Sumitomo website.

READ: The Much Awaited PNR Line Tutuban to Malolos Planned to Hit the Tracks in 2021

The construction of the PNR Line Tutuban to Malolos (Line 1) in full swing and the Bulacan International Airport (also known as the New Manila International Airport) is ready, to begin with, the approval from the House of Representatives.

Once the Tutuban-Malolos Railway, New Manila International Airport, and the Malolos-Clark Railway are all up, there will be interconnectivity between Manila to the new Bulacan airport to Clark airport.

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