DOTr eyes start of PNR Bicol operations in 2027

Construction work for project’s Package 1 to start in first quarter of 2022

(Eagle News) — The Department of Transportation is eyeing the start of operations of the Philippine National Railways in Bicol in 2027.

The department made the statement after the contract signing for the construction of the project’s first 380 kilometers from Banlic, Calamba to Daraga, Albay pushed through.

Construction work for the project’s Package 1 is set to start in the first quarter of 2022, with its completion eyed in 2024.

The remaining PNR Bicol contract packages, meanwhile, are set for completion between 2024 and 2026.

According to the DOTr, PNR Bicol will span  560 kilometers and will have 35 stations.

It will run from Manila and pass through Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, and then to Albay.

The department said there would be an extension line in Sorsogon and a branch line in Batangas.

According to the DOTr, PNR Bicol is expected to reduce travel time between Manila and Legazpi City in Albay from the present 14-18 hours to six hours using regular commuter trains, and 4 hours and 30 minutes using the line’s express trains.

The department said the PNR’s design speed is set at 120 to 160 kilometers per hour for passenger trains and at 80 to 100 kilometers per hour for freight trains.

“For our kababayans in the South who have dreamt of the PNR Bicol project for so long, we are finally seeing the light of day,” the department said.