The Government of Philippines' Department of Transportation (DOTr) is set to begin the construction of the Manila-Clark Railway Project later this year, which will connect Manila with Central Luzon.

The PHP255bn ($5.05bn) project will be funded by Official Development Assistance (ODA) from Japan and is scheduled to be completed by the last quarter of 2021.

DOTr initiated the project with the marking of five stations, namely Marilao and Meycauayan in Bulacan, Valenzuela, Caloocan, and Tutuban in Metro Manila.

The 106km railway project will comprise a total of 17 stationsand is expected to reduce the two-hour travel time from Manila to Central Luzon to roughly 55 minutes. It is expected to benefit 350,000 passengers daily during the first year of its operations.

Manila-Clark railway project is one of the high-impact projects undertaken by the current Philippines Government under its ‘Build Build Build' infrastructure programme.

"For the first time, a rail project will connect Manila to Central Luzon and it will be completed under the Duterte administration."

DOTr secretary Arthur Tugade said: “For the first time, a rail project will connect Manila to Central Luzon and it will be completed under the Duterte administration.”

An initial deployment of 13 train sets each comprising eight coaches will operate on the line, which will be capable of operating at a maximum speed of 120km/h.

Philippine National Railways (PNR) general manager Junn Magno noted that the development is expected to decongest Metro Manila and provide significant economic gains to the country once complete.

In addition to the marked stations, other stations planned for development under the project include Solis, Bocaue, Balagtas, Guiguinto, Malolos, Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, Clark International Airport, and the proposed New Clark City station in Pampanga.


Image: Philippines’ Department of Transportation (DOTr) to start construction of $5.05bn Manila-Clark railway project. Photo: courtesy of Government of Philippines’ Department of Transportation.