The 147-kilometer North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project will begin partial operations in the third quarter of 2026, while full operations will commence in 2029, according to Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista.

During the contract signing for the NSCR’s Contract Package (CP) NS-01 on Friday, 03 March 2023, Secretary Bautista said the Malolos, Bulacan to Clark, Pampanga section of the project will be operable in 2026.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. witnessed the signing of the CP NS-01 between the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Mitsubishi Corp. at the Malacañan Palace.

“We expect partial operations of the Malolos to Clark Airport section by the third quarter of 2026,” Secretary Bautista said, adding that “three years more, we should see full operations of the whole NSCR.”

While the project will bring ease of mobility and connectivity within the the regions of National Capital Region, CALABARZON and Central Luzon, the NSCR Project is also expected to generate a total of 110,000 direct and indirect employment during its construction phase, Secretary Bautista said.

Secretary Bautista expressed his gratitude to the Government of Japan, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for bankrolling the largest largest infrastructure financing in Asia and the Pacific.

“I would like to thank the Government of Japan, through their Embassy here in Manila, the JICA and ADB for co-financing this contract package of the NSCR,” he said.

Describing the NSCR Project as a “landmark initiative,” President Marcos said that the big-ticket project will make the country “more connected than ever.”

Awarded to Mitsubishi Corp., the P110.4 billion worth CP NS-01 covers the trackworks, signaling system, and telecommunications for the mainline and depots.

Also included in the CP NS-01 are the power supply at the substations, power distribution system, and overhead contact line system for the mainline and depots, among others.

The entire NSCR Project will have a total of 35 stations with 51 commuter train sets and seven express train sets operating along its rail line.

Once operational, the NSCR is expected to service as many as 800,000 passengers daily and cut travel time from Clark Airport in Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna in less than two hours. (DOTr)