IN THE NEWS: The Department of Transportation officially signed last Saturday the first two (2) contract packages for the Philippine National Railway (PNR) Clark Phase 2 project, the 53-kilometer rail extension that will connect Makati City to the Clark International Airport.

Contract Package 4 of the PNR Clark Phase 2 covers the civil engineering and building works for approximately 6.3 kilometers of the main line and 1.6 km of the depot’s access line, with one underground station serving Clark International Airport.

Contract Package 5, on the other hand, covers the civil engineering and building works for the Clark Railway Depot, covering an overall area of approximately 33 hectares, including the construction of operations control center, stabling yard, workshops, training center and other ancillary buildings at Mabalacat in Pampanga.

The contract for Package 4 was signed with Acciona Construction Philippines and EEI Corp. while that for Package 5 was inked with POSCO Engineering and Construction Co. Ltd.

Once partially operable by 2022, PNR Clark Phase 2 (Clark-Malolos) will cut down travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark International Airport to 30-35 mins from the original 1 hour and 30 mins. Further, the leg will featue the country’s first airport rail express.

PNR Clark Phase 2 forms part of the P777.55-billion North-South Commuter Railway, a mega railway network spanning 147 kilometers with 35 stations, which is co-financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.