Transport and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said that the Philippine National Railway will extend its service to Cagayan and Isabela and possibly a spur to Clark Green City.
Abaya said that DOTC has allowed the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) to prepare the feasibility study for the rail spur.
The DOTC early this year said it would propose the setting up of an elevated railway system that will cost $5 billion and will be built over the existing railways. This project includes the 900-kilometer Integrated Luzon Railway [IRL] that will run from Cagayan to Sorsogon, Bicol and the 90-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway that will run from Malolos, Bulacan to Calamba, Laguna.
DOTC said that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is helping the government to complete the feasibility study for the Malolos-Calamba commuter rail.
The proposed railway would cover the entire north and south networks of the state-run PNR. PNR’s north network runs from Manila to La Union as well as a branch line from Tarlac to San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and a possible extension to Cagayan while the south network traverses from Manila to Legaspi City, including the branch line from Calamba to Batangas City.
Abaya also clarified that the railway system BCDA is proposing for Clark is not a bullet train but a train running at 150 kilometers per hour.
“Clark is 100 kms away. If it travels at 150kph, so you get there in 40 mins. You don’t need a bullet train to get there,” Abaya said.
The government still has to decide if it will be a PPP project or one funded by official development assistance.