MRail plans ex­ten­sion of Mla-La­guna freight ser­vice to Batan­gas

The Philippine Star - - BUSINESS - By LOUELLA DESIDERIO

A sub­sidiary of Manila Elec­tric Co. (Mer­alco) is look­ing to ex­tend its pro­posed freight train project cov­er­ing Manila to La­guna up to Batan­gas.

In a state­ment, MRail Inc. said it signed a me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment of Batan­gas for the con­duct of a fea­si­bil­ity study on the ex­ten­sion of the freight train project from Calamba in La­guna to the Batan­gas In­ter­na­tional Port.

The fea­si­bil­ity study will look at the align­ment of tracks and the vi­a­bil­ity of the rightof-way of Philip­pine Na­tional Rail­ways (PNR).

MRail is look­ing to ex­tend the project up to the Batan­gas Port as part of the vi­sion to in­ter­con­nect ma­jor ports in Lu­zon.

“The pro­posed MRail freight project in part­ner­ship with gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor part­ners, of­fers the po­ten­tial of help­ing spur eco­nomic growth in the prov­ince and pro­vid­ing more jobs to the peo­ple of Batan­gas,” said Os­car Reyes, Mer­alco pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer and MRail chair­man.

Op­er­ated by Asian Ter­mi­nals Inc., the Batan­gas Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal is a ma­jor trad­ing hub in South­ern Lu­zon. It han­dles over 300,000 twen­ty­foot equiv­a­lent units an­nu­ally.

MRAIL’s pro­posed freight train project which cov­ers Tu­tuban up to the La­guna Gate­way In­land Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal op­er­ated by In­ter­na­tional Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal Ser­vices Inc. in Calamba, and even­tu­ally to Batan­gas, seeks to al­low seam­less trans­port of con­tainer­ized car­goes by mov­ing them via rail­way in­stead of roads.

The project is ex­pected to help im­prove traf­fic flow through the re­duc­tion of cargo trucks by at least 300 to 600 per day.

It is also part of the mod­ern­iza­tion and ex­pan­sion pro­gram of PNR which aims to make the cargo rail sys­tem part of its ser­vice.

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