Bids for 3 railway infrastructure contracts to be opened this month

PHILIPPINE National Railways (PNR) is set to open bids on Aug. 18 for three projects, including the P1.8-billion design and build contract for track relocation works between the Solis and Sucat stations.

The Solis-Sucat contracts cover pocket tracks, stations, box culverts, and other civil works, according to bid documents published by the PNR.

Completion is required within 850 calendar days, it said.

The works are part of the North-South Commuter Railway Extension (NSCR-EX) project from Solis in Manila to Calamba in Laguna, which is expected to provide a more convenient access to commuters to Metro Manila and vice versa.

The NSCR-EX project “will be approximately 56.5 kilometers using the existing right of way (ROW) of the PNR and will run on mostly elevated railway viaduct structures that will implement standard gauge track that is superior in safety, higher speeds, and reliability,” the company said.

After the completion of the NSCR-EX project, trains will operate at maximum design speed of 120 kilometers per hour, which will cut travel time and increase line capacity compared to the current track system, it added.

It said the PNR track is proposed to be relocated as a single track within the PNR ROW, in close proximity to the NSCR-EX project.

The project has been divided into the following stages: long lead-time materials procurement; design and construction of the New PNR Pandacan Railway Bridge; design and construction of 13 steel bridges; design and construction of relocated PNR track and track laying including pocket tracks, platform stations and culverts — Solis to Sucat; and design and construction of relocated PNR track and track laying including pocket tracks, platform stations and culverts — Sucat to Calamba.

The PNR will also open bids on Aug. 18 for the P733.5-million contract to design and construct 13 steel bridges.

Bids received for the P404.3-million design and construction of the New PNR Pandacan Railway Bridge will be opened on the same day.

In his first address to Congress, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. highlighted the need to “build upon already existing lines by modernizing these old railway systems.”

“There are dozens of railway projects — on the ground, above the ground, below ground, not just in Manila, but in other regions — at various stages of implementation, and with a combined cost of P1.9 trillion,” he said.

“It is clear in my mind that railways offer great potential as it continues to be the cheapest way of transporting goods and passengers.” — Arjay L. Balinbin