The thought of having a “train” in Mindanao takes about forty years before it becomes tangible. That was 40 years ago. Several Philippine presidents have sat at the Malacanang. It was only when a Mindanaoan President, Rodrigo Duterte came into office that the dream of having a train in Mindanao is set to be realized.
Despite difficulties and challenges in pushing for the Mindanao Railway Project, the actual construction work will start on the fourth quarter of 2019.
There are certain amendments on the system of train to be built, its’ engineering design, as well as the equivalent cost of these changes caused another difficulty and further delays on the project.
The prime component of any construction project is land acquisition and now that has started, optimistically the first phase of the Mindanao Railway Project construction will soon start connecting Tagum City, Davao City and Digos City. Upon Completion of the railway project local government unit is going to get large benefit from its construction in Tagum City where a 10-hectare depot will be located.
The 102-kilometer Mindanao Railway Project: Tagum-Davao-Digos (MRP-TDD) segment is expected to reduce the travel time from three and a half hours to only one hour and 30 minutes “once it starts operating in 2022.” The MRP-TDD segment is the first of the 3 segments of the Mindanao Railway Project. The design and construction of the Project will begin by 3rd quarter of next year and is expected to be completed by end of 2021. The MRP-TDD is expected to not only make travel faster, but also safer, more convenient and comfortable for passengers.
According to 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.
The Mindanao Railway system is a key component of the infrastructure masterplan for Mindanao which also include the expansion and modernization of various airports, seaports, maritime facilities, and the region’s public transportation system.