DOTr, DOST Collaborate on Second Prototype of Hybrid Electric Train for Southern Luzon

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is joining forces with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to develop a second prototype of a hybrid electric train (HET) aimed at servicing the southern tracks of Luzon. This collaborative effort signifies a major step forward in modernizing the country's transportation infrastructure.

Transport Undersecretary Jeremy Regino announced that Japanese consultants working on the Philippine National Railways’ North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) have given their approval for the adoption of HET technology, which was originally developed by the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC). The NSCR is a crucial rail project that extends from Calamba, Laguna to Matnog, Sorsogon.

Earlier this month, DOTr inspected the Hybrid Electric Train at PNR Calamba Station


Regino highlighted that while the first HET prototype successfully passed evaluation tests back in 2019, recent discussions between DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. and DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista, along with their foreign consultants from NSCR, led to the decision to develop a second prototype. This new prototype aims to enhance safety for both passengers and train operating personnel.

"We discussed among ourselves, together with MIRDC, DOST, Secretary Solidum, and Secretary Bautista, that we can improve it and come up with a second prototype to make it safer for the riding public and personnel, the operating personnel of the trains," Regino stated. "We have decided to join forces to once again build a second prototype train that we can all be proud of."

Regino emphasized the potential impact of successful HET technology on the country's transportation system. "What is the implication of a successful hybrid train? If we can do a hybrid train, we can easily modernize local jeepneys. If we can do a hybrid train, we can easily manufacture hybrid environment-friendly buses. And who is at the forefront here? Research and development - MIRDC and DOST," he explained.

The DOTr had previously suspended the PNR rail operations last March to make way for the commencement of NSCR construction and development activities. The NSCR is set to replace the existing PNR line, which currently runs at-grade, or on the same level as the road.

Regino affirmed the government’s commitment to making the country's train systems more efficient with the NSCR project progressing at full speed this year.

The development of the second HET prototype marks a significant milestone in the Philippine government's efforts to address acute transportation issues and advance towards a more sustainable and modernized public transit system.

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