Launching gantry ‘speeds up’ Malolos-Clark railway construction

The construction of the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Malolos-Clark segment reached a milestone on Tuesday with its first use of a launching gantry—a special purpose mobile gantry crane used in bridge construction.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said the launching gantry—dubbed ‘Luid’ or ‘Mabuhay’ represents the first time such equipment was used in Pampanga province.

“Luid will travel 5.5 kilometers between Barangay Lourdes, Minalin, Pampanga and Barangay Gatbuca, Calumpit in Bulacan, and will be utilized to construct the railway viaduct,” according to the DOTr.

The launching gantry will lift 16 35-ton pre-casted segmental box girders and combine them into one 40-meter railway viaduct span. “In total, Luid will create 140 railway viaduct spans,” the DOTr said.

It said Luid is only one of 11 launching gantries that will be operated in the Malolos-Clark segment of the NSCR system. Its use is an “internationally recognized method of construction to ensure the safe, efficient, and quality construction of the NSCR,” the DOTr added.

DOTr said the launching gantries were procured through official development assistance (ODA) loans from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).Operated by the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the The NSCR system is a mass transport rail system from Clark International Airport (CRK) in Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna.

The system is expected to create “over 47,000 direct jobs and 106,000 indirect jobs” during its construction, contributing to post-Covid-19 and economic growth in Luzon, particularly in Region 3, 4-A, and the National Capital Region.