As early as February this year, the Philippine National Railways, or PNR announced that certain routes of its trains will cease operations to make way for the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) system. The first to close was the Gov. Pascual, Malabon-Calamba line; its schedule can no longer be seen in the daily train schedule. Starting July 2, 2023, the Alabang-Calamba route will have 2 of its trips affected.
4:38 AM and 7:56 AM Alabang-Calamba PNR train schedules will halt come July 2
Contrary to the official infographic that you see above, it was clarified that only two trips of the PNR will be affected by the Alabang-Calamba route’s closure; these are the 4:38 AM trip and 7:56 PM trips. It’s estimated that around 467 commuters take each trip daily. The reason for the ceasing of line operations is still the same, and it is to make way for the construction of the NSCR.
”The Alabang to Calamba train service will be temporarily suspended to give way to a major construction that will result in a modern train service that will ferry more people, to more places, fast and safe,” said Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Cesar B. Chavez.
Worth noting is that while the construction of the NSCR is ongoing along the said route, the Alabang, Muntinlupa, San Pedro, Biñan, Sta. Rosa, Cabuyao, Mamatid, and Calamba PNR stations will be temporarily unavailable.
Chavez likewise explained that an elevated, double-track, and electrified train system will be built directly above the existing PNR tracks, and this is seen to speed up the construction of the NSCR by eight months.
By the time that the NSCR is up and running, the 147-kilometer train system will cut travel time from Clark Airport in Pampanga to Calamba in Laguna to less than 2 hours, from what is currently a 4-4.5 hour travel time. It’s expected to be able to cater to 800,000 passengers a day, and during its construction, is expected to generate approximately 110,000 direct and indirect jobs.
“Ang pansamantalang abala, ihahatid ay pangmatagalang ginhawa [The temporary inconvenience will bring forth a lasting convenience],” Chavez reiterated, adding that the government aims to complete the NSCR system in five years.
An inconvenience, indeed, but we likewise agree that for the sake of future generations and ultimately, ease of travel, everyone can, will, and should benefit. Let’s all be a little bit more patient out there, folks. 5 years is a pretty long time to wait.