DOTC plans to link proposed P166B North-South railway system to Batangas port

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ID-10012000The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) intends to connect Batangas port and the planned North-South Railway (NSR) system to provide the Southern Luzon hub with multimodal infrastructure for both cargo and passengers.

“(By) making Batangas port intermodal (port, rail, and toll), then movement of goods and people will be more efficient,” Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya told PortCalls in a text message.

He said the P166.63-billion public-private partnership project is on the agenda of the November 28 National Economic and Development Authority Board meeting, and if the development is approved, bidding could start within the year or by early next year.

The NSR project aims to revive the Philippine National Railway (PNR) with improved transport and logistics services to service underserved areas and encourage productive activities.

The proposed NSR South Line will run from Metro Manila to Legazpi City, Albay covering about 653 kilometers in all.

It is envisioned to consist of commuter railway operations between Tutuban and Calamba as well as long-haul railway operations between Tutuban and Legazpi, including extended long-haul rail operations on the branch line between Calamba and Batangas and the extension line between Legazpi and Matnog, Sorsogon.

Currently, the railway between the existing Tutuban station and Calamba covers 56 kilometers.

Long-haul rail operations are also proposed along this section but the NSR needs to expand its narrow gauge railway and conduct extensive rehabilitation and reconstruction work on its bridges and road crossings to bring it to safe operating condition.

Aside from connecting Batangas port to a rail system, Abaya said other government projects for the cargo transport industry include the North Luzon Expressway-South Luzon Expressway connector road, the truck scheduling system proposed by port operators, and the expansion of ports. – Roumina Pablo

Image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono at FreeDigitalPhotos.net