Friday, 6 March 2009

Philippine National Railways instructed to run Bicol train before 2010

By Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/regions/view/20090304-192286/PNR-told-to-run-Bicol-train-before-2010

NAGA CITY, Philippines -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has given orders for train service between the Bicol region and Metro Manila is restored before her term ends in 2010, an official of the Philippine National Railway (PNR) said Wednesday.

PNR general manager Ower Andal said Representative Diosdado “Dato” Arroyo of Camarines Sur’s first district, whose 10 municipalities would benefit from the reopening of the railway services, said they are also pushing to speed up rehabilitation of the railway system, including rails and cars, and the rebuilding of stations and offices.

Andal said one way of maximizing limited funds would be for the PNR management to ask local manufacturers to build new cars for the train.

He said the PNR would spend only P5 million for a locally made car, compared to around $2 million, or some P110 million, for an imported.

Andal was here to declare the start of the P24-million rehabilitation of the Central Station located in Tabuk, Naga City. The project will cost P24 million, including the construction of a new building, perimeter development and beautification.

He said they are targeting the reopening of the rail line, which stretches 377.57 kilometers from Naga City to Metro Manila, in time for the Peñafrancia Fiesta in September.

It would cost the PNR P1.875 billion to totally rehabilitate the lines and stations from Quezon province to the Bicol region, he added.

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