CLARK FREEPORT — Excavation of the country’s first-ever airport underground railway in front of the new terminal building of the Clark International Airport (CRK) is now underway.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade inspected the ongoing works, along with provincial government officials, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The underground train station of the Philippine North Railway (PNR) inside Clark is part of the 53-km PNR Clark Phase 2 (Malolos-Clark Segment) project. Once operational, PNR Clark 2 will cut travel time from Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga, from the current 1.5 to 2 hours, to just 30-35 minutes.
It has six stations— Calumpit, Apalit, San Fernando, Angeles, Clark, and CRK.
This project is part of the massive 147-km North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR), which will have 35 stations, and shall operate 464 train cars, with 58 8-car train sets configuration.
As of July 2021, PNR Clark Phase 2 recorded an overall progress rate of 32 percent, while PNR Clark Phase 1 (Tutuban to Malolos segment), is now 48 percent complete.
He said the PNR Clark project features the country’s first-ever airport railway express service, which will surely unlock economic growth and employment potentials of Central Luzon, especially Bulacan and Pampanga under Build, Build, Build project of President Duterte.
The project, Tugade added, will generate direct and indirect employment opportunities for locals, our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), and transport workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sa katunayan, mahigit 7,000 direct jobs ang nabuksan sa construction phase ng PNR Clark Phase 2, at inaasahang 3,000 job opportunities pa ang magbubukas oras na maging operational ito. Samantala, inaasahang higit 25,000 direct job opportunities ang hatid ng buong NSCR line during construction, at 10,000 jobs naman ang maidadagdag oras na mabuksan na ito,” he stressed.