P175-B South Railway project will finally push through in Q2 2019

Philippine National Railways / photo file from Google

Manila, Philippines - Construction of the P175-billion Philippine National Railways South Railways project, a 639-kilometer standard gauge railway line from Manila to Matnog, Sorsogon, and a part of the PNR Luzon System program, will finally push through in 2019.

According to Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, the PNR Luzon System is among the biggest infrastructure projects to be funded under an Official Development Assistance (ODA) agreement to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will be here in December.

“Finally, the PNR South Railways project which we have tediously designed as a key that will unlock the economic potentials of the vast Southern Tagalog and Bicol areas, is now finally coming to realization,” Salceda said

PNR South Railway segment will cut Manila-Legazpi travel down to only less than five hours once finished.

It will run from  Manila to Matnog in Sorsogon with nine major stations—Manila, Los BaƱos, Batangas City, Lucena, Gumaca, Naga City, Legazpi City, Sorsogon City, and Matnog.

Salceda, the original proponent of the project said that modern railways infra will be a major backbone of economic development in Southern Tagalog and Bicol with overflow benefits to other regions, of course.

The construction, he said, is set to start in the second quarter of 2019 and will be partially operational by the second quarter of 2022.

The PNR South Railways project was originally proposed by Salceda years ago and it will now take form under “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration.

Meanwhile, relocation of affected families for ‘right of way,’ and procurement of project management consultant services which cost about P14.8 billion, are presently on-going.

Salceda said that the project will enhance the connectivity of major airports and seaports in Southern Tagalog and Bicol regions.

It will also provide a fast and reliable alternative transport system for untapped areas along its route.

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