PNR to resume ‘Bicol Express’ June 25, PGMA told

June 15, 2010 8:15 pm 

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, June 15 — The Philippine National Railways (PNR) is set to resume regular trips to the Bicol Region by Friday next week, PNR officials told President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo Tuesday.

The PNR halted its daily train trips to the Bicol province after the San Cristobal bridge here was destroyed when typhoons “Milenyo” and “Reming” battered Southern Luzon one after the other in 2006.

Now, with a newly constructed 50-meter bridge taking the place of the devastated San Cristobal bridge, the Bicol Train service, from Manila to Ligao, Albay will soon resume.

In a briefing in one of PNR’s newly acquired coaches that took the Chief Executive, PNR and local government officials and members of media to its Bicutan station in Parañaque, PNR General Manager Ower Andal said the “Bicol Express” trip will be available to commuters by June 25, 2010.

According to Andal, more operational works are being undertaken to ensure the safety of the trips to Bicol. These jobs include replacing the wooden tresses with concrete and the addition of compacting materials to improve the stability of the tracks.

Andal said the resumption of the Bicol trips “closes the loop” linking the North and South Rail project, a part of the President’s 10-point agenda to decongest Metro Manila.

In the same briefing, Andal told the President the PNR expects its passenger base to increase from the 400,000 a month to 600,000.

He said that if the trend continues, the PNR will have to increase the departure of trains from its usual 30-minute interval to 15 minutes to cope with the demand. (PNA)

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