Manila – The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has published an Invitation to Bid for a rail track improvement project for the Philippine National Railways (PNR) worth P 144,377,624.62, as part of its effort to revive and improve Southeast Asia’s oldest railway system.
The project will add a second track to run parallel to the single track currently connecting the Sucat and Alabang stations, by adding 3.97 kilometers of rails which will allow simultaneous two-way traffic to run in that section. Presently, PNR’s rails are double-tracked from Tutuban to Sucat only.
Prospective bidders may purchase the bid documents beginning today. A pre-bid conference which will be open to all interested parties is scheduled on May 26, while the submission and opening of bids is set on June 9.
The award and start of construction of the project are targeted by the 3rd quarter of 2015, and the winning bidder will have two hundred (200) calendar days to complete the construction of the double rail tracks.
The state-owned PNR is temporarily not operating for safety reasons, as the status of its rail tracks are being investigated by management following the April 29 derailment incident near its Magallanes station.
The investigation is expected to yield a precise inventory of missing or needed parts such as rail joints, angle bars, and rail clips – which will then be procured and installed in order to allow the PNR to resume its operations as soon as possible. Prior to the incident, the railway system had been servicing the Tutuban-Calamba route daily.
The PNR is also expecting the arrival of two second-hand donated trains from Japan in the coming weeks. Aside from replacing missing parts and constructing double-track rails, the PNR has other rehabilitation projects for near-term implementation such as roofing extension to shield passengers from heat and rain, installation of turnstiles in major stations, and rail and comfort room rehabilitation. These immediate improvements are targeted for completion by the end of 2015 or early next year.
Meanwhile, the DOTC is scheduled to begin the procurement process for its long-term solution to revitalize the PNR later this month. This project, called the North-South Railway Project, aims to revive PNR’s services from Malolos to Tutuban as its North Line and Tutuban to Legazpi City as its South Line by the end of 2020.