February 23 ------ Two more new train sets from Indonesia were deployed for operations on Thursday as part of the ongoing efforts of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to improve services of the rail network. After 150 hours of validation test, a send-off ceremony was held to formally utilize the new train sets for commercial operations. It is expected to carry 1,000 passengers per trip and serve passengers in its assigned route – Tutuban to Alabang.
The PNR’s metro line runs from Tutuban in Manila to Los Baños in Laguna. The two train sets, which arrived this February, are composed of new 8100 series of Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) train cars with a four-car formation that were supplied by the Indonesian rolling stock manufacturer PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA). This latest addition forms part of PNR’s 2018 train procurement that aims to transform and improve the services of the rail network.
In his message, PNR General Manager Junn Magno said the arrival of the two new train sets from Indonesia is a testament to the delivery of a promise to continue enhancing the services of the rail network. Magno noted that the new DMU trains have additional security features such as obstacle door detector to avoid passengers from getting caught in between and a tropicalized airconditioning system designed to ideally function in the country’s climate. The trains also feature polycarbonate glass windows to help prevent damage, especially in cases of stone-throwing incidents along the PNR line.
“Hahabulin po natin na by end of 2020, we should have enough capacity to serve the southern and part of the northern corridor. Bubuksan na po natin ang Valenzuela lane para ma-offload din po natin ang EDSA . All of that is actually supporting the over-all strategy of our good [Transportation] Secretary to provide a comfortable life, lalo na sa mga kababayan nating mananakay,” Magno said. Last year, the first batch of DMU train sets, composed of six railcars, arrived in the country and started operations on December 16, 2019. PNR purchased a total of 37 railcars expected to be delivered in the country by batches.
PNR will have two more DMU train sets, three locomotives, and 15 passenger coaches and two shunter within the first half of 2020. Once all these new train sets are operational, the PNR targets to serve a total of 140,000 passengers per day – at least double the current capacity of 48,000 to 60,000 passengers daily. Meanwhile, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade welcomed the development in the PNR as the delivery of the additional train sets will further provide convenience to the riding public.
“Kaya nga ang sinasabi nila (That’s why they say), development comes in when the trains start rolling. Today, PNR is rolling because certainly, we are setting limits high enough for the people to hear and for the people to feel that there will be development that is geared to provide Filipinos a comfortable and convenient life,” Tugade said.