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Philippines plans rail freight connection for main Luzon ports

Intermodal logistics between the main Luzon ports might be boosted with a proposal to link Manila to Batangas, at the southern end of the Philippines' main island.

Local reports said a unit of Manila Electric Co (Meralco) is planning to extend its proposed freight train project from Manila to Batangas.

The PPP project was originally supposed to run till Laguna, where International Container Terminal Services Inc's (ICTSI) Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal is located in Calamba.

Meralco unit MRail’s proposed freight train project is now expected to be extended to Batangas Port, where Asian Terminals Inc (ATI) operates the Batangas Container Terminal, a major trading hub in Southern Luzon which handles over 300,000 teu annually.

MRail has signed a memorandum of understanding with the local government of Batangas for the conduct of a feasibility study for the extension which will look at the alignment of tracks and the viability of the right-of-way of Philippine National Railways (PNR).

If it comes to fruition, the project will connect all major ports in Luzon and allow seamless movement of containerized cargoes by rail, while improving traffic flow, by cutting between 300 to 600 trips per day.

“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 ceo and MRail chairman.

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