Manila rail mega-projects take big steps forward

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Manila from above

Metro tunnel boring machines arrive while North-South overground line goes to tender.

The Department of Transportation in the Philippines has called for bids for its gigantic North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project.

Working with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the government is seeking bids for the suppliers of track works, signalling, power supplies, overhead contact lines and telecommunications.

The NSCR project is a major investment in what will be a high-tech 147km of rail network with 35 stations with its own training centres for maintenance and operations staff. Running along the tracks of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) it involves three stretches of development and the Philippines’ first airport express service.

Within Manila, the NSCR will intersect with another massive project progressing to enhance the city’s economy and its sustainable transport capacity.

Tunnel boring machines have arrived for the excavating of the city’s new metro system and will begin work before 2022, starting from a depot in Valenzuela and heading south into Tandang Sora and eventually into North Avenue.

Site clearing operations have been undertaken already and detailed engineering designs have been drawn up so it is hoped the 34-kilometer line and 17 stations will be complete within four years.

The metro system is also being supported by Japan, via its Official Development Assistance (ODA) programme.