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PH-made hybrid train launched

The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) yesterday launched a five-coach hybrid electric train (HET) set which could mordernize the Philippine National Railways’ (PNR) mass transport system.

DoST Secretary Mario Montejo said during the media launch at the PNR Tutuban station that the P120-million HET project was developed by Filipino engineers from their agency, Metals Industry Research and Development Center (DOST-MIRDC) in 2013.

“Bakit pa tayo magdedepend sa foreign [companies] to solve or address itong ating problema sa mass transportation system? We are fortunate to have the best engineering and technical minds in the country. Ito ang isinusulong namin talaga na mindset, na we can solve our own problems. Bigyan lang natin ng suporta, encouragement ang ating mga engineers at scientists para maka-tulong sila gamit ang siyensya at teknolohiya,” said Montejo.

The HET has an operational speed of 60 to 80 kilometres per hour (kph) just like the PNR. Of the five coaches, three can accommodate 220 passengers each; one can hold 210 since it has a pilot coach inside where the drivers are seated, and one is used as a power coach where the machines and engines were placed.

Montejo noted that the difference of the HET from other trains is that it uses a diesel-electric power system which includes installed generator set and battery for the storing of energy while the train is running. Aside from that, the HET enables recharging of the battery while the train is at break.

“The difference is that it is hybrid and it is regenerative. So during breaking, nagchacharge siya ng battery,” said Montejo.

This makes the HET efficient in fuel consumption. Aside from this, the HET train also costs considerably lower than imported ones since it is made by local engineers.

“Ang aming benchmark, it should be lower in cost than the imported ones. Two components yan eh, one is the fixed cost and one is the operating and maintenance cost,” said Montejo. (MARTIN A. SADONGDONG)