The country’s first two sets of 8000-class trains meant to operate in the FTI-Tutuban and FTI-Malabon routes took their inaugural run.
In a ceremony at the Philippine National Railways (PNR) Dela Rosa Station, PNR General Manager Junn Magno said the inaugural run is part of rail tradition to christen the first-type of train launched in a new class.
“So, we’re actually launching a new class of train. This is what we call the 8000-class train,” Magno said.
The official said the two new trains, made up of six brand new Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) railcars manufactured by PT Industri Kerata Api (INKA) in Indonesia, is a part of the PNR’s transformation during the Duterte administration.
“This is part of the transformation of the Philippine National Railways. And this is a reflection of the leadership that this country has today,” Magno said.
The inaugural run, which started from PNR Dela Rosa Station, ended at the Tutuban station.
During the unveiling ceremony of the new DMU railcars last week, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said the PNR, from its 17 routes at the beginning of the Duterte administration, was able to double its routes to 36.
“In barely three years, the PNR, through the leadership of the men and women of the PNR, they have doubled the number of stations to cater to the mobility and connectivity of the Filipino people,” Tugade said.
With the increase in routes and higher passenger capacity, he said, came the need for an upgrade and acquisition of new trains.
He added that for the first time in four decades, the PNR was able to purchase trains under its own budget and did not rely on foreign donation or loan grants.
In a statement, the DOTr said that with the new trains in operation, the FTI-Tutuban and FTI-Malabon routes will gain an additional 18 to 20 trips per day.
The DOTr said the increase in trips will result in headway of 20 minutes during peak hours aside from the expected increase in ridership to 140,000.
The six DMU railcars, it added, was only the first batch of the 37 railcars and 3 locomotives purchased by the PNR from Indonesia.
Aside from the new railcars and locomotives, new air-conditioning units are also set to be installed in existing railcars of the PNR. (PNA)