DOST’s Hybrid Electric Train Inauguration

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The Department of Science and Technology (“DOST”) officially introduced its Hybrid Electric Train (“HET”) to the public on the 24th of April 2019 with a maiden trip from the Philippine National Railways (“PNR”) Alabang Station to Biñan Station.

When the Hybrid Electric Train arrived at the Philippine National Railways Alabang Station, the media, invited public, and the public-at-large, were all excited and busy taking photos and selfies of the Philippines very first own design and locally made train. It was a special moment for the Filipino people to have finally achieved this level of train technology after centuries of importing train sets.

The HET have a glossy light blue finished outside giving the train set a feeling of innovation and futuristic Philippines. Inside, the cars were given an overall white design with the handles in yellow (which will probably be replaced with Orange to reflect PNR‘s color code), displaying its cleanliness and invoking the passengers to hold on the safety handles. It was also very cold, a huge difference from what the current air-conditioned PNR cars commonly used and colder than those from the Green Line (also known as Line 1), Blue Line (a.k.a. Line 2), and Yellow Line (a.k.a. Line 3) trains.

At 10:10 in the morning, as scheduled, the train started its journey to Biñan Station. Immediately, it was noticeable how the ride was smoother than what the PNR is currently using. There were still bumps and shakes along the way due to the situation of the rails itself, not because of the train, but these were far less than what passengers experience daily with the old imported models.

There are also CCTVs installed inside each car, two from what are visible which covers both directions. This should be something that all our public transport vehicles should have. The positioning of the aircon vents were also designed to ensure that even those sitting will be comfortable. The aircon design in all other trains we imported have this as its obvious design flaw, the DOST engineers thought of this very well.

The window glass were also upgraded. In the earlier design, the HET installed screens to protect the passengers from people throwing rocks and breaking the glass. In the latest design, the windows are no longer breakable thus the protective screens were removed giving the passengers a pleasant ride instead of feeling riding a prisoner train transport. During the maiden trip, from Alabang Station to Biñan Station, thankfully no one threw rocks at us (though one could say it would have been a good public test).


  • Diesel-electric power system (Generator Set and Batteries)
  • Uses a regenerative braking system (multiple brake systems and layers)
  • Wide automatic sliding doors
  • Fully air-conditioned cabins
  • Reliable and high-speed interconnection control system through CC-Link Open Network System
  • Additional safety features: dead man’s switch, control buttons on HMI, hardwired emergency switch, door interlocks, air pressure interlocks


  • Operational Speed: 60kph
  • Capacity per coach (passenger): 175 (design load); 220 (crush load)
  • Gross weight per coach: 25.5 tons
  • Coach Dimension (LxWxH) (m) 12 x 2.85 x 4.432
  • Battery (VDC): 650
  • Generator Set (kVa): 500
  • Number of Coaches: 5 (1 pilot, 1 power, 3 passengers) (power coach is not included)
  • Maximum Track Grade: 1.2%
  • Minimum Turning Radius (m): 50
  • Gear Ratio: 1:4
  • Developmental Cost: ₱120 million

Truly Filipino

The DOST Hybrid Electric Train is truly a Filipino design. From the outside to the inside, it was designed with the Filipino needs and passengers in mind. It was clear from the first look that the uniqueness and ingenuity of the Filipino worked from the little aspect to the biggest. We can all be proud of it and I for one can only say that I can not wait for the HET to become PNR’s only train set in operation.

There are more to be said about HET but that I will reserve for later when it goes public. Did I say that on May 6th the PNR will begin its first ever public run from Alabang Station to Biñan Station free-of-charge? It will only be for a limited number of trips as part of PNR’s study on how the general public will use the new train, especially during rush hours when everyone seems to be okay to be like sardines. I will be there and share my experience but maybe not during rush hours.

See you there!

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DOST's Hybrid Electric Train Inauguration
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DOST's Hybrid Electric Train Inauguration
DOST inaugurates new Hybrid Electric Train in Biñan, Laguna PNR Station.

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