The Philippine National Railway’s (PNR) fleet of trains may soon be augmented by an all-new, hi-tech, Filipino invention.
Earlier this week, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offered the PNR the use of their locally developed and built hybrid electric train on their railways.
The hybrid train was launched last year at the cost of Php 120 million as a means to alleviate the metro’s worsening traffic situation. While the train isn’t perfect, engineering firm Systra Philippines Inc. (SPI) said the vehicle had “very good potential” and required only minor tweaking to make it ready for use.
Robert Dizon, executive director of the DOST Metals Industry Research and Development Center that built the train, told the Inquirer that the train would be ready for use within the year after a Php 20 million upgrade.
Among the things that needed to be improved was the train’s shock absorption, the braking system and lighting.
Before it can be used to carry paying passengers, the hybrid electric train will need to be run for 5,000 kilometers to determine its safety and reliability. The train is currently in Laguna where it was transferred last June, where the DOST is currently running 8-hour tests on a 2.7km track. The train has so far run 1,500km.
Junn B. Magno, PNR general manager, said the PNR had yet to conduct studies on the viability of the hybrid electric train.