Eight trains to run on PNR during GCQ — DOTr

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 31) — Eight trains will hit the tracks of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) starting June 1, as Metro Manila and many areas of the country transition to a more relaxed community quarantine.

PNR General Manager Junn Magno said that six of the eight trains are newly-acquired Diesel Multiple Units (DMU) from Indonesia, which will be used for the routes from Governor Pascual to Bicutan, Tutuban to Alabang, and Tutuban to Calamba, while the other two are existing DMU trains. There will be a total of 28 train cars for revenue operations.

"Bukod po sa pagiging mas ligtas at komportable ng mga ito, ang mga silya nito, gawa sa PVC ang mga silya nito na mas madaling linisin at mas hindi kakapitan ng mga sakit," Magno said.

[Translation: Aside from being safer and more comfortable, the chairs, which are made from PVC make it easier to clean and less prone to diseases.]

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said that while the PNR is ready and able to serve, it will serve on a limited capacity.

"The resumption of transportation entails a calculated, gradual, and partial approach," Tugade said. "Ayaw nating maging dahilan ng pagkahawa sa COVID-19 ang ating mga tren. Bukod sa pagsiguro ng mobility at convenience, nakaatang din po sa atin ang responsibilidad na tumulong sa pag-iwas ng pagkalat ng sakit na COVID-19."

[Translation: We don't want our trains to become a place where people can get infected with COVID-19. In addition to ensuring mobility and convenience, we also have the responsibility to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 disease.]

The Department of Transportation said that all trains were marked with stickers where passengers may sit or stand, to ensure that physical distancing is observed throughout the trip.

The agency added that trips will be safer and smoother, since the new trains have a driving engine on each car-end, making it easier to make turns after every trip.

Bilang paghahanda sa balik-operasyon, nagsagawa po kami ng simulation hindi lamang ng operasyon, kundi pati na rin ng aming cleaning and disinfection protocol upang masiguro na malilinis ang ating mga bagon sa pinakamaiksing oras, upang maging ligtas ang mga pasahero at hindi maging cause of delay ng operasyon ng ating linya ang paglilinis,” Magno said.

[Translation: In preparation for resumed operations, we performed not only the simulation, but also the cleaning and disinfection protocol, to ensure our trains are cleaned in the shortest possible time so that passengers are safe, and cleaning will not be a cause of delay.]

The six units of DMU were procured in 2018 and were delivered in 2019, and at the beginning of 2020. The procurement of the new trains is among the projects of the Duterte administration, a move to expand the capacity of the Philippine National Railways.