Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway for $556 million USD

Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway for $556 million USD


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

Philippines orders 240 Japanese train cars for first Manila subway

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. 

President Rodrigo Duterte's Build Build Build program highlighted the Manila's first-ever subway public transport system which idea was rejected by all previous Philippine Presidents due to their belief that subway train system could not withstand in the Philippines due to flooding issues ignoring the suggested engineering intervention that could protect the project from floods. 

Sumitomo and JR East subsidiary Japan Transport Engineering signed the contract on Dec. 15, 2020 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.

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. Read more at Asia Nikkei

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