In an effort to reduce truck volume in Metro Manila, MRAIL, Meralco's railway subsidiary, will be reviving the cargo rail freight service and will run along PNR (Philippine National Railway) tracks in the Metro. MRAIL has partnered with International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), who used to operate rail service in the late 1990s but stopped in 2002.
This agreement was first postponed due to the right of way issues raised by the Philippine Ports Authority. Now, MRAIL, ICTSI and the new administration are set to do as originally planned. “The project will boost the economy and ease the congestion at the Manila ports, as well as the roads that are often clogged with cargo trucks running to and from Port Area”, said MRAIL President and CEO, Ferdinand G. Inacay.
Approximately P1 billion will be spent on the three train sets and tracks for the freight service. When completed, the rail cargo freight service will operate for a minimum of eight round trips per day. The involved parties are expecting to finish the extended track from Manila all the way to Clark within the next two years.