Philippines set to start work on ADB-funded rail project
Malolos-Clark Railway will connect major urban areas in Luzon to Metro Manila
23 Sep 2020 | Michael Marray

The Philippines has signed a major civil engineering works contract for its Malolos-Clark Railway Project (MCRP) with domestic company Megawide and its Korean partners Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd. and Dong-ah Geological Engineering Company Ltd.

Under the contract, the consortium will undertake the building and provision of civil engineering works for approximately 17 kilometres of viaduct structure, including elevated station buildings in Calumpit, Bulacan and Apalit, Pampanga.

The MCRP is part of the larger North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project of the Department of Transportation. The NSCR is supported by the Asian Development Bank. It will be ADB’s biggest project in the Philippines and single largest infrastructure project financing in its 52-year history. 

The 163-kilometre suburban railway network will connect the growing urban areas in Pampanga and Tarlac provinces in the north and Calamba in Laguna province in the south to Metro Manila. The railway, including links to New Clark City in Tarlac, will be constructed in sections.  

In May 2019, the ADB approved a US$2.75 billion financing facility for the Malolos-Clark Railway Project covering two sections of the NSCR. Under the facility, US$1.3 billion was committed in 2019 to fund the project, with two additional tranches to be released by 2022. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is co-financing the project.

The Malolos-Clark Railway will have seven stations, with one station linked to Clark International Airport, which has almost finished work on a second terminal to triple its annual capacity to 12 million passengers from the current 4.2 million. The railway will make Clark International a viable option for tourists and business travelers, helping to decongest the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila.

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