Hybrid electric train – made in the Philippines – completes inaugural run

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hybrid electric train
The future of mass transit in the Philippines? The hybrid electric train following its successful test run today.

The first hybrid electric train manufactured entirely in the Philippines has undergone its inaugural run between Alabang and Biñan stations.

Touted as a solution to the country’s dire traffic problem, it was assembled by the Department of Science and Technology’s Metal Industry Research Development Center.

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Following its successful run earlier today (Wednesday, April 24) project head Pablo Acuin said the train was the first mass transport vehicle of its kind made in the country.

“For us, we designed this hybrid train with features similar to the PNR [Philippine National Railway] train which goes through testing that could withstand intensity or magnitude by train standards. Although we are not yet aware for any PNR standard like during a strong earthquake,” he said.

He added that in the event of moderate earthquakes, PNR would suspend operations and check on the condition of the railroad tracks.

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He explained that the hybrid train was equipped with automatic stop safety features which would be very helpful should a strong earthquake occur.

“When we had a test on Monday during an earthquake, we hardly felt it. The trip went on without any hitch,” he said.

According to Acuin, the hybrid train project team conducted their testing last year, running it about 5,000 kilometres, passing the PNR’s standards. All in all, the train has been in development for five years.

The project head engineer said they embarked on daily test runs from the Mamatid to Cabuyao City PNR Stations, stretching some 4.5 kilometres, running an average of 200 kilometres, for three months.

He said the PNR detected minor problems during the tests, all of which were quickly remedied.

“We have a generator which consumes less fuel using electricity-generated power source that also emits less carbon into the air and thus it is environment-friendly,” he said.

Developed by a pool of 10 Filipino engineers and technicians at the DOST-MIRDC together with industry partners, the train was assembled at the PNR Caloocan depot.

He said the train has five coaches, designed by Filipino experts although the actual manufacturing was outsourced.

Some 900 passengers could be carried by the train, which is expected to begin carrying passengers early next month. 

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