By Emmie V. Abadilla
Construction of the first phase of the P36 Billion Mindanao railway System, which will link 3 major cities in Davao region – Digos, Davao and Tagum, starts in the 1st quarter of 2020, transport officials yesterday confirmed.
Department of Transportation (DOTr) Assistant Secretary for Railways and Mindanao Projects Eymard Eje announced that bidding for the construction of the country’s first train system outside Luzon is scheduled in November, with the project’s groundbreaking set by early next year.
Phase 1 of the Mindanao Railway Project is a 102-kilometer rail line that will link the Davao Region through Tagum, Davao City, and Digos.
The railway system is designed to accommodate around 110,000 passengers daily in its opening year. The first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos (MRP-TDD) is expected to be finished by the end of 2021.
DOTr officials also met with Mindanao Development Authority chairman and former Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol last week to discuss details of the Mindanao Railway Project.
The MRP-TDD will have 8 stations, namely: Tagum; Carmen; Panabo; Mudiang; Davao Terminal; Toril; Sta. Cruz; and Digos. A 10-hectare depot will be built in Tagum.
The rail line will be built with a single track, with provisions for future tracks and electrification.
It will have six 5-car passenger trains (Diesel Multiple Units) with 3 spare cars, 4 locomotives and 15 freight cars.
Once the project is completed, the DOTr expects the daily ridership of the Tagum-Davao-Digos segment to increase to 134,060 by 2022.
The DOTr projects the daily ridership to further increase to 237,023 by 2032 and 375,134 by 2042.