PHL acquiring trains for PNR Bicol revival from Chinese firm

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) has signed a contract with Chinese firm CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive for the supply and delivery of three train sets of three car formations for the revival of PNR South Long Haul (Bicol).

The contract was signed on December 18 by PNR General Manager Junn Magno and CRRC Locomotive Vice President Wang Qiaolin.

The signing was witnessed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade, Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, and CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive General Manager Fu Chengjun.

This is after CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive was declared as the winning project bidder for the delivery of standard gauge Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains to the PNR on October 23.

“This is a very momentous occasion for us because this is where we will start the railway service and transform the Philippine National Railways. This train will represent the first trip for the South Long Haul Project or what we call the PNR Bicol and it would cut down significantly 80 percent of the travel time between Manila and the Bicol region,” Magno said.

DOTr said these train sets, which are set to arrive in the country in June 2021, will be initially deployed for long haul service from Calamba in Laguna to Naga City in Camarines Sur and eventually to Legazpi City in Albay.

It added that the DMU trains will feature business class, first class, and second class accommodations. The trains can accommodate 168 passengers with 36 seats for business class, 52 seats for first class, and 80 seats for second class.

“Because of PNR under the leadership of Junn Magno, the retrogression that has happened in the past becomes a progressive effort to recapture the glory that was of PNR. And that is why, Junn Magno and his team, are trying to revive the glorious days of PNR by putting more stations, increasing it as we start from 17 to 35, improve the railway tracks, and would like, not only to put the railway tracks but put new trains and new coaches so that the realization of that glorious moments of Manila and Bicol will come to form,” Secretary Tugade said.