DOTr, DOST collaborate in development of hybrid e-train

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star
DOTr, DOST collaborate in development of hybrid e-train
File photo of the Department of Science and Technology facade.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is collaborating with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) for the development of a second prototype of a hybrid electric train (HET) that would ply the southern tracks in Luzon.

Transport Undersecretary Jeremy Regino said the Japanese consultants for the Philippine National Railways’ North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) – which runs from Calamba, Laguna to Matnog, Sorsogon – have approved the adoption of the HET technology developed by the DOST-Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC).

While the first prototype has passed evaluation in the test runs back in 2019, Regino said recent discussions between DOST Secretary Renato Solidum Jr. and DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista along with their NSCR foreign consultants resulted in a decision for the development of a second prototype.

“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 said.

“We have decided to join forces to once again build a second prototype train that we can all be proud of.”

The DOTr, he said, is looking at HET technology as a potential solution to the country’s acute transportation woes.

“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,” Regino said.

The DOTr had suspended the PNR rail operations last March to give way for the start of the NSCR construction and development activities.

Regino earlier said the NSCR would replace the PNR currently located at-grade or on the same level as the road.

The government is pushing to make the existing train systems “more efficient” with the NSCR project going on full swing this year, Regino said.

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