Philippine National Railways (PNR) has signed a deal with CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive for three trains.

This marks the first time that the country will import trains from China.

The trains will be capable of operating at a maximum speed of 120km/h. They will feature three accommodation types, namely business-class, first-class and second-class.

CRRC Zhuzhou general manager Fu Chengjun said that CRRC Zhuzhou will put together: “The best project team and strictly comply with international standards to produce the trains.”

Xinhua reported that he also said that PNR hopes to improve its public transport service with the delivery of these trains.

PNR general manager Junn Magno said that the trains will operate on the rail route between Manila and Bicol on the island of Luzon. Magno also said that PNR expects them to shorten the journey time between the two regions.

Department of Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade stated that the Philippines has great regard for its railway sector development and hopes that the trains will begin service as soon as possible.

Tugade said: “We are happy that there is an opportunity of cooperation like this.”

CRRC Zhuzhou has been awarded 50 orders from 20 countries, including Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia and South Africa, to supply locomotives, metro and light rail trains, and electric multiple units among other items.

In August, German rail technology company Vossloh agreed to sell its locomotives business to CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive.

Based in Kiel, Vossloh Locomotives specialises in manufacturing diesel and dual-mode locomotives for light mainline and shunting duties.