Manila-Clark Bullet Train Gets Boost

The Governor of Bulacan, Wilhelmino Alvarado, has revealed that the Regional Development Council is targeting the construction of the country's first rapid train system to link Metro Manila with Clark International Airport. 

philippine bullet train system
Image Source: Wikimedia
According to Alvarado, the rapid train system would be modelled after the bullet train of Japan. The Regional Development Council is pushing for the bullet train system or a revival of the Northrail project that was mothballed. Alvarado says that the proposed bullet train network would boost the economies of Central Luzon especially in the provinces of Aurora, Tarlac, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Bulacan, and Pampanga. 

"The lifestyle of the people in Central Luzon will be revved up and travel time will be lessened," said Alvarado. If the project was to move ahead, the train would host coaches for economy class, business class, and executive class in addition to freight lines. 

Alvarado further noted that Deo Manalo, the Director of Project Development Service for the Department of Transportation and Communications, revealed that the Japan International Cooperation Agency expressed interest in rehabilitating the Northrail project. However, the Regional Development Council intends to push for the bullet train recommending to President Aquino to make it a priority this year. 

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya is headed in a different direction concentrating on the 900-kilometre Integrated Luzon Railway project instead. Abaya says that there is an option of putting up a connecting rail link to Clark airport. "Instead of building high-speed rail, you use the same rail to have an airport link," said Abaya. "But at least you have a decent rail system that could serve the airport."

Abaya added that it would take five to six years to complete the project. The Department of Transportation and Communications is still awaiting clearance from the National Economic and Development Authority to pursue the Integrated Luzon Railway project. The feasibility studies for the project are expected to be completed early this year. "If we get NEDA's clearance on both integrated Luzon railway and the commuter railway, we can bid that out early this year," said Abaya. "So at least from our end, we will get this going and hopefully the people who would replace us at the DOTC will find this a viable project that will serve the people."

Meanwhile, an economics professor at the University of Asia and the Pacific, Dr. Vic Abola, is urging President Aquino to transfer the railway and mass transport functions from the DOTC to the Department of Public Works and Highways. "We need seamless inter-modal land transportation system," said Abola. "These should not only be designed and built on a parallel basis but on an efficient seamless transfer from one mode to another."

A study published by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency revealed that at least 200 kilometres of railroad and more than 100,000 kilometres of roads need to be constructed in order to address traffic congestion issues in the metropolis. 


  1. We can't get the PNR running decently! How the devil will we manage a bullet train!
    What a joke.

  2. walang common sense ang government natin. Yan ang kulang. Puru corruption lang ang alam

  3. let's wait and see if they can really manage bullet train,.,look at the brighter side,../

  4. Hope it could be successful. Good luck


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