By Denise A. Valdez
THE Philippine National Railways (PNR) will be sending trains to ply the Caloocan-Dela Rosa route once again, decades after it was closed in the late 1990s due to the Northrail project.
The Department of Transportation (DoTr), in a statement on Monday, said the train line will start running on Aug. 1, Wednesday.
“After 20 years of closure, the Department of Transportation-Philippine National Railways (DOTr-PNR) will be re-opening the PNR Caloocan-Dela Rosa line to public. Minimum fare will still be at PhP 15.00,” it said.
PNR General Manager Junn B. Magno told BusinessWorld in a text message on Monday, “The Caloocan line was shut down in the late ’90s-early 2000 because of the Northrail project. It was supposed to be utilized by that project.”
“However, the project was defunct, it was not resurrected, until we were able to scrounge extra track material and parts. We resurrected the line in June 2018,” he added.
Mr. Magno said the Caloocan line will be used to cater to passengers from Makati and Caloocan while waiting for the new Tutuban-Malolos railway project, also called the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) or PNR North 1.
“We will use the line to offload the Caloocan-Makati traffic corridor…. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the new line will add value to the passengers in the corridor,” he said.
The $2.88-billion NSCR project has opened bidding to Japanese and local investors in Mid-may. It is offering two contracts for the 37.9-kilometer railway: the first one covering seven stations, elevated structures and a depot; and the second covering three stations and elevated structures.
Mr. Magno told BusinessWorld in June there are seven to eight Japanese companies that have expressed interest in the project.