Geological and Geotechnical Characterization for the Rehabilitation of the North-South Philippine Railway System

Author: Roy Anthony C. Luna (MSCE), Michael Paolo V. Follosco (MSCE), Alexis Philip A. Acacio (PhD), Gian Paulo D. Reyes (MSCE), Jenna Carmela C. Pallarca (MSCE), and Marvin Renzo B. Malonzo

Presenter: Jenna Carmela C. Pallarca

A strategic transport system in the Philippines is essential to support the country’s economic growth and growing population, consistent with the government’s vision to promote inclusive growth and spur economic development in the underserved areas.

Currently, the railway system serving the National Capital Region has only four lines. Several other lines are presently under construction or in the planning and design stage. Meanwhile, the rehabilitation and development of the existing Philippine National Railway (PNR) mainline track is another major mass transport infrastructure.

The PNR North-South Commuter Rail Project will entail the construction of a 37.9 km rail system from the capital city of Manila to the nearby province of Bulacan, another 68.7 km rail from Bulacan to Clark Field in Pampanga, and a 68.5 km rail for the South alignment from Manila to the southern province of Laguna. The project shall include construction of viaducts, elevated embankments, bridge crossings, depots, a workshop and operations control center.

A reasonably comprehensive geological characterization, as well as geotechnical investigation and analysis play a critical role in the cost-effective design and implementation of the project, more particularly in the foundation design of the railway considering several geotechnical hazards. Some of these hazards include proximity of active faults, liquefaction, soft ground conditions, high groundwater level, expansive soils, and susceptibility to flooding (necessitating high embankments).

This paper presents the geological and geotechnical investigation carried out for the for the proposed rehabilitation of the PNR North-South Commuter Project, in the context of the revival of the Philippine railway system. The geotechnical investigation program, general characterization of the alignment based on the results of the investigation, and the assessment and recommendations for mitigation of various geotechnical hazards are discussed.


16th Asian Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 2019

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