DoTr opens bidding for Malolos-Tutuban rail line

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Philippine National Railways (PNR)
North-South Commuter Railway, also called Philippine National Railways North 1 project hopes to cut travel time from Malolos to Tutuban to 35 minutes from one hour and 30 minutes. -- BW FILE PHOTO

THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said it has opened the bidding for the construction contract for the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

The DoTr is bidding out the civil works and building components of the project. It has two contract packages: the first covers elevated structures, seven stations and a depot; the second includes elevated structures and three stations.

Eligible bidders must have a Japanese prime contractor, with no nationality restrictions on sub-contractors.

The Department of Finance signed a loan agreement with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2015 amounting to 241.991 billion yen, which will fund infrastructure projects under the government’s “Build, Build, Build” program. Portions of this loan will be directed to the $2.88-billion NSCR project.

Bidding documents for each of the packages are available at the Procurement Service office for the non-refundable price of P50,000. A pre-bid conference is also scheduled on June 1. The bidding will close on Aug. 16 for both contracts.

NSCR, also called Philippine National Railways (PNR) North 1, is a 37.9-kilometer line from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila. The project hopes to initiate a commuter rail service connecting Region 3 to Metro Manila.

The DoTr started the phase 1 of the project in January. This involves the clearing of roads that will be affected by the construction of NSCR.

According to the “Build, Build, Build” website, the project hopes to cut travel time from Malolos to Tutuban to 35 minutes from one hour and 30 minutes. When it opens in December 2021, NSCR hopes to serve more than 300,000 passengers daily.

The NSCR will be connected to PNR North 2 , a line that runs to Clark International Airport and New Clark City; while the PNR South Commuter line extends to Los Baños, Laguna. — Denise A. Valdez