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Transportation

Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway

Sumitomo and JR East's $556m contract follows 2019 commuter rail deal

Manila plans to add its first subway as well as a commuter line to ease transit congestion in the capital region.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp. and an East Japan Railway unit announced Monday that they won a 57.5 billion yen ($556 million) order for train cars that will serve Manila's first-ever subway system.

Sumitomo and JR East subsidiary Japan Transport Engineering signed the contract on Dec. 15, according to the news release. The order covers 240 subway cars, with the final delivery date set for March 2027.

The subway will span 36 km and 17 stations in the Greater Manila region. The line will connect Quezon City in the north to the city of Paranaque in the south.

The subway project is the centerpiece of the "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure initiative being led by President Rodrigo Duterte's government. The Japanese government is providing foreign development assistance for the undertaking.

The contract comes on the heels of last year's order for 104 cars that will run on a north-south commuter railway serving Manila. The line is expected to fully open in 2025.

 

A rendering of the Japanese-made subway cars to be supplied to Manila.

Japan Transport Engineering is making both the subway and commuter cars, which will be similar. The company owns the largest share in Japan's commuter-rail-car market.

The cars run on Tokyo rail lines operated by parent company JR East, also known as East Japan Railway. The Manila subway line will be modeled after Tokyo's subway system.

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