THE Philippines Department of Transportation (DOTr) has signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) to deliver integrated railway systems for the extension of the Manila North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR). The Yen 260bn ($US 1.914bn) contract was signed on March 3.

The contract covers a 110km line with 27 stations, comprising the 55km southern section from Tutuban to Calamba, in Laguna province, and the 51km northern section from Malolos to Clark International Airport, in Pampanga province.

The project is being financed through an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from the Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) under Special Terms for Economic Partnership (STEP) specifying Japanese technology. MC is responsible for designing, manufacturing and installing all railway systems, including track, signalling, telecommunications, power supply, catenary, automatic fare collection, and platform screen doors, on a turnkey basis.

On March 6, MC in turn awarded a consortium of Alstom and Colas Rail a turnkey contract covering the two sections of the NSCR.

Alstom’s share of the contract is worth €1.1bn. The company will be responsible for system integration, signalling and telecommunications, power supply, the automatic fare collection system, platform screen doors, maintenance systems and depot equipment, as well as delivering the control centre and training.

This includes the deployment of ERTMS Level 2 for the first time in southeast Asia.

Colas Rail will lead the track work and catenary installation.

The NSCR extensions are due to be completed in 2029. Completion of the central 53km Malolos - Clark section is expected in June 2025.

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