Another major railway project under way in the Philippines


The NSRP South Line will connect at the NSCR Solis station and pass through stations such as Biñan (left) and Cabuyao (right). The second rail project involves the MCRP North Line.

SMEC, a member of the Surbana Jurong Group, has been engaged as a consultant for the upcoming Manila Clark Railway Project (MCRP) North Line and the North South Railway Project (NSRP) South Line in the Philippines.

SMEC was awarded the project by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Design Team through Oriental Consultants Global (OCG). SMEC will assist JICA in the preparation of documents for the detailed design of the civil, structural, architectural, mechanical electrical works, among other components required for the two projects.

The MCRP North Line and NSRP South Line, similar to the North South Commuter Rail (NSCR) Malolos to Tutuban Section, are two major sections of the national railway transport system that aims to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila and beyond, and promote inclusive growth and improve the transport and logistics services to currently underserved areas. SMEC was also contracted by OCG previously for the basic and detailed design and construction supervision of the NSCR.

The MCRP North Line will provide about 50.5km of high standard suburban commuter rail from Malolos to Clark and around 70km up to New Clark City. The NSRP South Line will provide about 56.5km of high standard suburban commuter rail from Caloocan City to Calamba Station plus around 13km up to the proposed depot site at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños in the province of Laguna.

Surbana Jurong extends work for NSCR Project in the Philippines

NSCR project in the Philippines SJ railway project
An artist’s impression of the North-South Commuter Railway in Manila

Surbana Jurong’s SMEC Philippine team, in a joint venture led by Oriental Consultants Global, has been appointed as a General Consultant to manage and supervise the construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project.

A 38-km-long commuter railway line that connects Malolos in the province of Bulacan to Tutuban in Manila, this high-profile NSCR project is SJ Group’s first major rail project in the Philippines.

NSRC operation control centre in Manila
An artist’s impression of the North-South Commuter Railway operation control centre in Manila

Funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the NSCR is part of an overall initiative by the Philippine government to expand the existing mass transportation in metropolitan Manila and adjacent areas, and alleviate serious traffic congestion in and around the capital city. It is expected to benefit 200,000 commuters.

Following the successful completion of the NSCR Project’s final basic design report early last year, which has been given the nod by the authorities, the project team was once again contracted for the next phase, undertaking the following scope of work: construction supervision, design review, tender assistance and facilitation of the Environment Management Plan, Environment Monitoring Plan and Resettlement Action Plan.

Ricardo Yuzon Jr, Vice President for Transport, SMEC Philippines, said, “This win paves the way for SJ Group to further strengthen its position in the local market and we hope to elevate the brand to becoming one of the top consulting firms in the Philippines in the near future.”

Surbana Jurong wins railway project to improve sub-regional connectivity and trade in Bangladesh

Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Rail Project Preparatory Facility
Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar rail route construction to begin in August (Image source:

In a joint venture with CANARAIL of Canada and Systra of France, SMEC and its subsidiary ACE Consultants have won the bid to provide consultancy services for the Dhaka-Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar Rail Project Preparatory Facility in southeastern Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh team will look into the upgrade of a double track along with the associated facilities for the proposed Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar railway line. Scope of services includes undertaking a feasibility and safeguard study, detailed design and tendering services.

The line will connect Cox’s Bazar district for the first time to the national and sub-regional railway network.

The 120km dual-gauge passenger line, from Chittagong’s Dohazari village to Xilongxa in Cox’s Bazar will enable future direct connectivity toward western Bangladesh and India, where railways are constructed mostly in broad gauge, as well as toward northeastern India and Southeast Asia. Cox’s Bazar is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country and a seamless double track is essential to address the demand for both passenger and freight transport services.

The greenfield project is one of seven investment sub-projects being undertaken by Bangladesh Railway. Marked by the Bangladeshi government as a fast-track project, the new line will also form part of the Trans-Asian Railway network connecting Bangladesh to its regional neighbours such as China, Myanmar and Thailand. It is expected to improve efficiency in implementing regional cooperation and facilitating cross-border railway traffic in Bangladesh.

The project is scheduled for completion in July 2021.


Landmark road project secured in Myanmar to improve trade connectivity

Gote Hteik Bridge
View of Myanmar’s famous Gote Hteik Bridge

SMEC, member of the Surbana Jurong Group, Myanmar team has won a contract to provide the conceptual design for an approach road to the Gote Hteik Bridge in Myanmar’s northern Shan State. The project is jointly invested by Myanmar’s Oriental Highway Company Ltd and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd.

The 20km road is located along the Myanmar National Highway No. 3, between Lashio and Mandalay, which is a section of the China-Myanmar Highway.

The approach road will provide an important trade link between Mandalay and Lashio and contribute to greater road safety in the mountainous region. It will also help create a key transport node between northern and southern Myanmar.

myanmar road

Project location relative to Gote Hteik Bridge – The approach road to the Gote Hteik Bridge will improve trade connectivity between Mandalay and Lashio

The team’s scope of work includes:

  • Road survey works
  • Geotechnical investigation works
  • Concept designs: geometrical design, subgrade and pavement design, drainage design, road intersection design and road furniture design
  • Preliminary quantities and estimate of cost

Maung Maung Thar, SMEC Country Manager, Myanmar, said: “The new road to the Gote Hteik Bridge is a landmark project in Myanmar and we are proud to be appointed as the road design consultant, all thanks to the collaborative efforts of SMEC Myanmar and SMEC Philippines’ Transport Group. We are delighted that Oriental Highway Company and China Harbour have shown confidence in our expertise. We look forward to a successful project completion and further downstream opportunities.”

The project will be completed in early June.