North–South Commuter Railway: All You Need to Know About NSCR (Routes and Stations)

Here's all you need to know about North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR).

North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR)

The North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR), also known as the Clark–Calamba Railway, is a transformative urban rail transit system currently under construction in Luzon, Philippines. Spanning 147 kilometers (91 miles) and featuring 36 stations and four services, the NSCR aims to enhance connectivity within the Greater Manila Area while integrating seamlessly with the broader regional railway network.

The NSCR project traces its roots back to the 1990s when the concept of a rapid railway connecting Manila to Clark was first proposed. However, initial attempts at implementation faced challenges, including funding disagreements with Spain. Subsequent efforts, such as the NorthRail project with China in the 2000s, also encountered obstacles, leading to discontinuation amidst allegations of overpricing.

Despite these setbacks, the vision for a comprehensive commuter railway persisted, and in 2013, the groundwork for the current NSCR project began. Following approval of the initial phase in 2015, construction officially commenced in 2019, marking a significant milestone in the realization of this long-awaited infrastructure endeavor.

Project Scope and Timeline

The NSCR represents the most ambitious railway transportation project in the Philippines, with an estimated cost of ₱873.62 billion. Its comprehensive design encompasses a vast stretch of Luzon, from New Clark City in Capas to Calamba, Laguna. Along its route, the NSCR will serve as a crucial artery for commuters, offering efficient and convenient transportation options across densely populated urban centers and burgeoning economic hubs.

Despite its scale, the NSCR project is progressing rapidly, with the entire system expected to be completed by 2028. Once operational, the NSCR will supersede the existing PNR Metro Commuter Line, offering commuters an enhanced travel experience characterized by speed, reliability, and accessibility.

Impact and Implications

The completion of the NSCR holds immense promise for Luzon's transportation landscape. By facilitating seamless movement of people and goods between key destinations, the railway will unlock new opportunities for economic growth, regional development, and urban connectivity. Moreover, it will alleviate congestion on existing roadways, reduce carbon emissions, and enhance overall quality of life for residents within its catchment area.



Following the termination of the NorthRail project, the Department of Transportation and Communications embarked on restarting the initiative, commissioning a feasibility study by CPCS Transcom Ltd. of Canada. This study explored the possibility of establishing a commuter line from Malolos to Tutuban, Calamba, and Los Baños. Concurrently, the North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) was included in the Metro Manila Dream Plan by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2014.

The NSCR, a vital component of the North–South Railway Project, comprised two phases. The first phase, NSCR Phase 1, involved the construction of a 37-kilometer electrified narrow gauge commuter railway from Tutuban to Malolos, funded through overseas development assistance. Meanwhile, the second phase aimed to reconstruct the Tutuban–Calamba commuter line, extend long-haul services to Matnog, Sorsogon, and establish a branch line from Calamba to Batangas under a public–private partnership (PPP) scheme.

In February 2015, the NEDA board approved the NSCR Phase 1 project chaired by President Benigno Aquino III. Following discussions between President Aquino and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in June 2015, Japan committed to funding the project. Subsequently, representatives from both nations exchanged notes on the project in November 2015, formalizing Japan's financial support. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) was tasked with financing the project, resulting in a loan agreement worth ₱97.3 billion signed in November 2015.

Under the subsequent administration's Build! Build! Build! Infrastructure Program, significant changes were made to the project. These included converting the railway's gauge to standard gauge and extending the line to New Clark City. Furthermore, Japan's overseas development assistance replaced the PPP scheme for the southern commuter line.

On June 25, 2017, transportation secretary Arthur Tugade announced the renaming of the project and unveiled the locations of the first five stations during a press tour of the old Philippine National Railways (PNR) line.

In January 2019, loan agreements totaling ₱80.47 billion were signed between JICA and the Department of Finance (DOF) for the North–South Commuter Railway Extension Project (NSCR-Ex), encompassing the PNR Clark 2 and Calamba sections. Subsequently, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed a loan agreement worth ₱66.6 billion for the NSCR-Ex project in July 2019. These funds would finance various aspects of the project, including civil works, electrical and mechanical systems, and trains.

On June 9, 2022, the ADB approved a loan worth ₱227 billion for the civil works of PNR Calamba, with President Rodrigo Duterte signing the loan agreement on June 16. Additional loan agreements were inked on February 9, 2023, during President Bongbong Marcos's working visit to Japan.


Pre-construction activities, including the clearance of the right of way, commenced on January 5, 2018. The North–South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project is being implemented in three phases, divided into two main sections:

PNR Clark: This section constitutes the northern segment of the NSCR and is executed in two phases. PNR Clark 1 involves the construction of the 38-kilometer Tutuban–Malolos railway, while PNR Clark 2 encompasses the 53-kilometer Malolos–Clark railway. Upon completion, the 91-kilometer railway line will connect Tutuban station in Manila to New Clark City station within the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone, with a direct link to Clark International Airport.

PNR Calamba: Also referred to as PNR Clark Phase 3, PNR Calamba forms the southern portion of the NSCR. It entails the reconstruction of the existing Metro Commuter Line into an electrified standard gauge railway with elevated, at-grade, and depressed sections. Spanning 56 kilometers, the railway will stretch from Solis station in Manila to Calamba station in Laguna.

The groundbreaking ceremony for PNR Clark 1 took place on February 15, 2019, with construction commencing thereafter. Similarly, the groundbreaking ceremony for PNR Clark 2 occurred on September 18, 2021. Partial operations of PNR Clark are anticipated to begin in October 2022, with full operations scheduled for 2024. As of December 2021, PNR Clark 1 is 51.3% complete, while PNR Clark 2 has reached 32% completion as of September 2021.

Construction of NSCR South commenced on July 3, 2023, following the cessation of the Calamba–Alabang commuter services the previous day. Partial operations for this section are projected to commence by 2025, with full operations anticipated by 2028.


The North–South Commuter Railway project is divided into two sections, following the routes of the old Philippine National Railways main lines. The first section, PNR Clark, spans 91 kilometers and is elevated above the North Main Line, covering northern Metro Manila and Central Luzon.

PNR Clark is further divided into PNR Clark 1, a 38-kilometer stretch between Tutuban and Malolos, and PNR Clark 2, a 53-kilometer segment from Malolos to New Clark City. The second component, PNR Calamba, extends 56 kilometers and utilizes the existing PNR Metro Commuter Line right of way from Tutuban to Calamba, formerly part of the South Main Line, featuring elevated, at-grade, and depressed sections.

The North–South Commuter Railway offers four classes of services:

Commuter: This basic commuter rail service stops at all stations along its route. Three routes are planned: Tutuban–New Clark City, Tutuban–Calamba, and Clark International Airport–Calamba. The maximum speed for this service is 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) across the entire line.

Commuter Express: This limited-stop service is faster than regular commuter trains but follows the same routes and uses the same rolling stock.

Airport Limited Express: This service connects Clark International Airport and Alabang station, offering a premium experience with dedicated rolling stock featuring intercity-grade amenities and baggage space. It operates at a maximum speed of 160 kilometers per hour (100 miles per hour) along the NSCR North.

Subway through-service: This proposed augmentation links the NSCR and the Metro Manila Subway, serving areas in Metro Manila and Laguna. It branches from the subway line at FTI station, with the remaining line heading towards NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay. The subway through-service utilizes Subway trainsets from the Sustina family, distinct from NSCR trainsets.

San Fernando
Santa Rosa
Santa Mesa
PNR Blumentritt
San Pedro


Proposed Train Stations:

PNR Clark 2
  • New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac
  • Clark International Airport, Mabalacat, Pampanga
  • Clark, Pampanga
  • Angeles, Pampanga
  • San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Apalit, Pampanga
  • Calumpit, Bulacan
  • Malolos, Bulacan

PNR Clark 1
  • Malolos South, Bulacan
  • Guiguinto, Bulacan
  • Tuktukan
  • Balagtas, Bulacan
  • Bocaue, Bulacan
  • Tabing Ilog, Marilao, Bulacan
  • Marilao, Bulacan
  • Meycauayan, Bulacan
  • Valenzuela
  • Valenzuela Polo
  • Malabon
  • Caloocan
  • Solis, Manila
  • Tutuban, Manila

PNR Calamba
  • Blumentritt, Manila
  • España, Manila
  • Santa Mesa, Manila
  • Paco, Manila
  • Buendia, Makati
  • EDSA, Makati
  • Senate, Taguig
  • FTI, Taguig
  • Bicutan, Parañaque
  • Sucat, Muntinlupa
  • Alabang, Muntinlupa
  • San Pedro, Laguna
  • Pacita
  • Biñan, Laguna
  • Santa Rosa, Laguna
  • Cabuyao, Laguna
  • Banlic, Calamba, Laguna
  • Calamba, Laguna

As construction progresses and milestones are achieved, anticipation for the NSCR continues to build among stakeholders across the region. With its transformative potential to reshape how Luzon residents commute and interact with their surroundings, the NSCR represents a pivotal investment in the future prosperity and sustainability of the Philippines' largest island.

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