(Eagle News) — Partial operations of a segment of the Philippine National Railways-Bicol project are expected next year, the Department of Transportation said.
According to DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan, among the stations expected to start operating in the first and second quarter of 2022 are the San Pablo, Laguna; Lucena, Candelaria and Pagbilao stations in Quezon.
The four stations are only some of the overall 35 stations that will dot the 560-kilometer PNR Bicol line that is expected to connect Metro Manila with Southern Luzon provinces such as Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, and Sorsogon once completed.
According to the DOTr, once the entire PNR-Bicol line–to be called Bicol Express—becomes operational, hopefully in 2025, travelers can only take six hours to get to Bicol with the use of regular trains, and 4.5 hours with the use of express trains.
It takes 14 to 18 hours for a traveler from Metro Manila to get to Bicol at present, the department said.
Transportation Secretary Art Tugade conducted an on-site inspection of PNR-Lucena station on Sept. 25.
The PNR-Bicol project is part of the government’s Build, Build, Build program.