Tuesday, October 24, 2017

P175 billion development help from China to reconstruct PNR's Bicol Express, new railway system not just rehabilitation.

Photo file from manila bulletin (ctto)

Manila, Philippines - Around P175- billion overseas development help to be borrowed from China will be used to reconstruct the operations of the Philippine National Railway’s Bicol Express.

The said reconstruction of a new Railway System is from Manila going to Bicol. Rails management also confirmed that it will be new not just a rehabilitation.

The news was announced by Undersecretary of Rails Cesar Chavez at the Bicol Express Modernization Forum held last Friday.

“It is not a rehabilitation, It will be a reconstruction. Everything will be new. New railways. New train wagons. New stations. New modalities.” Chavez said.

He also disclosed that Philippines and China is set to sign a loan agreement amounting to P175 billion which is payable in 2o years with only two percent interest per annum. This was said to be done on November 16 and 17, during the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Meeting in Manila.

With the revival of Bicol Express, estimated travel time would be lessen from 12 hours via buses to only 6 hours to reach Bicol with a design speed of 120 kph and operational speed of 80 kph.

According to Chavez, reconstruction is set to begin in 2018 and is expected to be finished in 2022. 
He also said that new railway system would be undertaken through Chinese general consultancy services.

Chavez also said that new railways system would have nine train stations from Paco in Manila to Matnog town in Sorsogon. The new stretch of 683 kilometer of newly constructed railways will be in accordance to the international standards.

The nine new train stations cited by Chavez are; Paco, FTI, Los Baños, Lucena City, Gumaca, Pili/Naga, Legazpi/Camalig, Sorsogon City and Matnog.

Chavez said that China would bring in and transfer technology and operational expertise to our Filipino engineers and contractors. He added that Filipino engineers will still handle the operation and maintenance.

Source: Inquirer