Defense of the Republic of the Philippines

Miscellaneous and non-defense topics => Infrastructure and Nautical Highways => Topic started by: adroth on September 13, 2018, 12:38:17 AM

Title: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on September 13, 2018, 12:38:17 AM
Administrator note: See also Act creating the Philippine National Railways (




NCR to North

PNR Railway North (

North-South Commuter Railway project (

17 stations of Manila-Clark Railway announced
(UPDATED) The Department of Transportation says it aims to start the construction of the railway system in the last quarter of 2017 and finish it by 2021



NCR to South

North-South Railway Project – South Line (

PNR's Bicol Express (

Bicol Commuter Line (



Support systems

Philippine Railway Institute (

PNR to acquire new rolling stock from Indonesia (

Gov't to create Philippine Railway Institute (

Other railway projects

Manila Subway (

Subic-Clark Cargo Railway Project (

Freight service from Port of Manila to Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal (
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on September 13, 2018, 07:39:34 AM

The sole operator of the most extensive Intra-Island Railway in the Philippines

The state-owned Philippine National Railways (or Pambansang Daangbakal ng Pilipinas in Filipino), commonly abbreviated as PNR, is the sole operator of the most extensive intra-island railway on Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines. 

It operates two commuter rail services in Metro Manila and the Bicol Region. The Bicol service is currently under rehabilitation in preparation for the resumption of the Bicol Express run to Naga City in Camarines Sur province, and eventually to the southern terminal in Legazpi City in Albay. The existing and well-patronized commuter service in Metro Manila is part of the metropolitan transit system and is referred to as the Orange Line.

PNR officially began operations on November 24, 1892 as the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan, during the Spanish colonial period, and later becoming the Manila Railroad Company (MRR) during the American colonial period. It became the Philippine National Railways on June 20, 1964 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4156. The PNR is an attached agency under the Department of Transportation and Communications.

Rehabilitation and Revival

PNR used to operate over 797 km (495 miles) of route from La Union down to Bicol. However, continued neglect and damage from natural calamities in past decades reduced PNR's efficiency and railroad coverage. Persistent problems with informal settlers in the 1990s contributed further to PNR's decline. In 2006, Typhoons Milenyo and Reming caused severe damage to the network, resulting in the suspension of the Manila-Bicol services.

In 2007 the Philippine government initiated a rehabilitation project aiming to remove informal settlers from the PNR right-of-way, revitalize commuter services in Metro Manila, and restore the Manila-Bicol route as well as lost services in Northern Luzon. Government actively pursued the rehabilitation and revival of Philippine rail transport through various investments, despite the numerous problems involved.

By 2011, work was ongoing for the total reconstruction of rail bridges and tracks, including replacement of the current 35-kilogram track with newer 50-kilogram tracks and the refurbishing of stations. The first phase, involving the conversion of all the tracks in the Manila metropolitan area, was completed in 2009. On July 14, 2009, PNR launched its diesel multiple units (DMU) newly acquired from South Korea.

In mid-2011, a test run of the Bicol Express between Manila and Naga City was conducted although it encountered a problem with the tracks and typhoon-damaged embankment in the Malaguico, Sipocot area. Full repairs have been undertaken since then.

Rolling stock: maintenance & increase in hauling capacity

Four types of rolling stock run on PNR's lines. These are the locomotives, the Commuter Express or Commex cars, baggage cars, diesel rail cars or DRC, and the newly acquired Manila commuter trains, the Korean diesel multiple units or DMUs. There are 14 locomotives, 18 Commex cars, two baggage cars and eight DRC currently operating.

PNR recently acquired (November 2010) surplus sleeper coaches and passenger cars from Japan Railways East, while more rolling stock are expected to arrive. As of July 2011, these units have been installed with safety window screens and the exteriors repainted.

PNR's hauling capacity has also been increased with repair, reconditioning, and repainting of seven (7) units of Diesel Electric Locomotives (DEL). At the same time, passenger convenience once the Bicol run is resumed will be augmented with on-board dining as the repair and conversion of the line's dining car has been completed.

Green & Orange Lines

The Philippine National Railways owns two different rail lines, namely the North Main Line (Green Line) and the South Main Line (Orange Line), along with the three spur lines, which serve various parts of Luzon. The only operating line and presently under rehabilitation, is the South Main Line (Orange Line), which serves as the regional rail backbone of Southern Luzon.

The PNR currently operates in the Manila metropolitan area and the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur and Albay. In the past, the PNR also used to serve the provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan and La Union on the North Main Line, and Batangas on the South Main Line. The North Main Line will be partly replaced under the current North Rail project. Plans are also afoot to revive previously discontinued services.

Passenger services: Commuter Express

The Commuter Express (also Metro Commuter), commonly called the Commex, serves as the commuter rail service for the Manila metropolitan area, extending as far south as Binan, in Laguna. The PNR uses GE locomotives hauling Commex passenger cars, as well as newly procured Hyundai Rotem DMUs, for this service.
Commex service using the new DMUs is currently offered between Tutuban and
Alabang in Muntinlupa City, while a daily Commex run between Manila and Biñan City, Laguna runs using GE locomotives. Currently, Commex trains make 38 daily trips, 19 in each direction.

Bicol Commuter

The Bicol Commuter service serves as the commuter rail backbone of the Bicol Region, serving stations between Tagkawayan, in Quezon province and Ligao City, in Albay, with Naga City in Camarines Sur acting as a central terminus. The service was launched on September 16, 2009, in time for the feast of Our Lady of Peñafrancia, but was once suspended due to typhoon damage and pending full rehabilitation.

When service is restored, Bicol Commuter trains will make seven trips a day, alternating between Tagkawayan, Sipocot, Naga and Ligao as termini. Five trips will run using a Commuter Express DMU sent to the Bicol Region, while two trips use GE locomotives.

Station layout

All PNR stations are at-grade, using a side platform layout. Most have only basic amenities: platforms and ticket booths, while rehabilitated stations along the Metro Manila line have been fitted with wheelchair ramps. Several stations have extended platforms, having an upper platform catering to DMU services, and a lower platform for regular locomotive-hauled services.

Peak Ridership

While there are spotty records for actual ridership levels and quantities during the PNR's "best years" during the late 1960s and early 70s, existing data on train operations show such daily passenger figures or ridership during peak seasons as follows:

For the Metro Commuter Operation, an estimated 47,000 passengers rode 24 motor cars at 62 trips per day to six routed destinations. This was when services extended between Tutuban and such destinations as San Jose, Nueva Ecija; Carmona, Cavite; Calamba and College, Laguna; Malolos, Bulacan; and Guadalupe.

For Mainline North, PNR had six trips daily from Tutuban to San Fernando, La Union using 14 passenger cars. Estimated peak ridership was at 3,000 passengers daily.

For the long-distance trains of the Mainline South, the estimated peak ridership was at 7,560 passengers daily on ten trips using 36 cars to various destinations in the Bicol Region.

Virtual monopoly on land travel

The factors surrounding these figures included PNR's virtual monopoly of long-distance land travel and commuting, when it had much less competition in either the Metro Commuter or the two Mainline train operations. Highways were less developed, there were not LRTs, no diversions roads.

The PNR then had 47 open stations from Manila to Legazpi and 26 to San Fernando, La Union. In Metro Manila, all commuter stations were manned by PNR Station Personnel, while the company itself employed more than 7,000 personnel in plantilla positions compared to 264 today.

Overcoming the odds

From the time the first rail tracks were laid in the Manila-Dagupan Ferrocaril line near the end of the colonial period, until today, without the interventions of two world wars, two revolutions, countless typhoons, volcanic eruptions, bureaucratic neglect and mismanagement, our trains would have been running for 121 years.

Again, the need is constant. And responding to the people's need has been the paramount motivation of PNR's hardworking Board and Management to set the agency's long-term directions and to begin realizing these in current operations.

But even more important now is the savvy leadership of DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas and the full backing of President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino for the proper development of the rail industry. He knows how much the public awaits it. He knows how much resources must be mustered.

Today, PNR can only respond in kind by overcoming all the odds of its recent history. It must maximize existing resources, improvise if needed, and go full speed ahead.
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on September 14, 2018, 01:31:04 AM
Sad saga of PNR
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:09 AM May 13, 2014

< Edited >

Such is the sad saga of the PNR that, instead of expanding, its rail line has actually become shorter after more than half a century of operations. The Philippines is estimated to have a total of 300,000 route kilometers. During its peak in the 1970s, the PNR was running on 1,100 route kilometers from La Union in the north to Legazpi in the Bicol region. Today, this is down to less than 100 kilometers. The PNR’s commuter line from Tutuban in Manila to Sta. Rosa, Laguna, covers 23 stations over a 50-kilometer stretch, while the Naga-to-Sipocot line in the Bicol region covers a route length of 35 kilometers. The long-distance service from Manila to Legazpi (the famed Bicol Express of the 1970s) has been suspended since October 2012 because of the continuing disrepair of typhoon-damaged bridges.

< Edited >

The PNR has only until June 19 to operate under Republic Act No. 4156. Sen. Cynthia Villar, chair of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, is spearheading efforts to extend the PNR’s corporate life by another 25 years, renewable for another 25 years. A bill to that effect has been approved at the committee level in the Senate. “Instead of giving PNR another 50 years outright, we are extending it to 25 years but renewable for another 25 years so that we can review its performance,” Villar has said.

The Philippines’ train system is actually much older as it was founded on Nov. 24, 1892, as the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan during the Spanish colonial period. In January 1917, during the American colonial period, it became Manila Railroad Co. (MRRCo), still carrying passengers from Manila to Dagupan. On Jan. 31, 1938, the first Bicol train was put into commercial operation. RA 4156 was then issued on June 20, 1964, changing the corporate name MRRCo to Philippine National Railways (an attached agency under the Department of Transportation and Communications), and giving the company a life of 50 years.

Previous administrations tried—but failed—to rehabilitate and expand the PNR. Last April, the government announced plans to roll out over the next 12 months 15 projects worth a total of $14 billion under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program. Included in the list is the $6.03-billion Integrated Luzon Railway Project Phase 1 that “aims to revitalize the entire length of the [PNR rail line]”. The PPP Center and the DOTC actually signed a year ago a consulting contract with Canada’s CPCS Transcom Ltd. to prepare the feasibility study for the proposed PNR Integrated Luzon Railway project. While there were few details available on the project itself, the PPP Center noted that it would cover the entire “PNR mainline”—North and South networks. This would include the north mainline from Manila to La Union, a branch line from Tarlac to San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and a possible extension to Cagayan. The south mainline refers to the Manila-to-Legazpi route, including a branch line from Calamba to Batangas City.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on September 17, 2018, 11:11:58 AM
How the act creating the PNR was extended

Republic Act 10638

SECTION 1. Section 1 of Republic Act No. 4156, as amended, is hereby further amended to read as follows:

"SECTION 1. Name, Duration and Domicile. - A corporation to serve as the instrumentality of the Government of the Philippines in providing a nationwide railroad and transportation system, is hereby created to he known as the Philippine National Railways, which shall exist for a term of fifty (50) years from the date of approval of this Act and shall be extended for another fifty (50) years, commencing on 20 June 2014. It shall have its main office in the City of Manila, and shall have such branches and agencies within the Philippines as may be necessary for the proper conduct of its business. This Corporation shall be under the Department of Transportation and Communications.

SEC. 2. This Act shall take effect immediately following its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general


President of the Senate     Speaker of the House of Representatives

This Act which is a consolidation of House Bill No; 4089 and Senate Bill No. 1831 was finally passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 21, 2014 and May 19, 2014, respectively.
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on September 17, 2018, 12:18:00 PM
Japan, China to help build PH railways
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 06:40 AM November 09, 2017

CLARK FREEPORT — Japan will take the lead in completing a railway connecting Manila to Clark, while the Chinese state firm Sinomach (China National Machinery Industry Corp.) will concentrate on building a railway from Manila to Legazpi City, the Department of Transportation  said here on Wednesday.

Japan’s official development assistance will fund the construction of the P105-billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) Phase 1 project from Tutuban at Divisoria in Manila to the City of Malolos in Bulacan province, and the P211-billion PNR Phase 2 project connecting Malolos to Clark, said Timothy John Batan, transportation assistant secretary for railways.

“The projects will be constructed by Japan. It will still go through the process of bidding but only among Japanese contractors,” Batan said.

Sinomach, he said, would instead build the PNR line from Manila to Legazpi City in Albay province.

< Edited >

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Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on September 20, 2018, 02:31:11 PM

Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 06, 2018, 02:01:16 PM

Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 06, 2018, 02:14:34 PM
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 09, 2018, 03:40:09 PM
Written by Raquel Gomez  Category: Press Releases

IT'S ONE transport system that will just keep on running.

The state-run Philippine National Railways ( PNR ) recently received another 50 years ex-tension of its charter, which is more than enough time to make the PNR at par with modern train systems, according to PNR general manager Joseph Allan Dilay.

Attention has shifted once more on the PNR, which is again envisioned to help alleviate the mass transportation problem in the country in the coming years.

The oldest train system in the country is currently in the initial phase of rehabilitation, a program already set in motion under the current administration.

PNR's rehabilitation will be focusing on reviving the Bicol Express operations, improving the metro commuter line, as well as planning the expansion of PNR service throughout Luzon.

PNR currently operates commuter lines from the Tutuban station to Mamatid, which is an additional two mores stops after Sta. Rosa.

Dilay said the Bicol trips, which were suspended in 2012 due to a derailment incident, will be operational in September this year The PNR team has already been conducting train test runs to Naga, and the tracks leading to Naga have also been fixed and reinforced.

Dilay, who worked in many big rail projects abroad, has already instituted reforms to make PNR earn income and run efficiently despite budget constraints and meager resources.


Special "shuttle" trains, which cover fewer stops in the commuter line, now run every 15 minutes, Stead of the 30 minutes, during rush hour to carry more passengers to and from work. First-class trains designated for the Bicol route, which were sidelined because of the suspension of the trip, were utilized for the metro commuter line for a premier train service. More cars were attached to the old locomotive trains to accommodate the increase in passengers. Color coded tickets were introduced and train marshals hired to prevent fare pilferage. Dilay said about P5 million a month is lost to PNR because of the manual ticket system.


Dilay also implemented the automation of PNR internal operations through the activation of computers that were just lying around unused in PNR premises. "One of the priorities is the installation of an automated fare and ticketing collection similar to what MRT and LRT have. Fare leakage is a major problem and it's attributed to many factors such as passengers getting a free ride, passengers paying the minimum fare for a long trip. And another is internal. Our immediate solution for now is the installation of ticket marshals and introduction of color coded tickets." Dilay's efforts seem to be producing positive results. There's now a 40 percent increase in PNR ridership, which avenged to more than 2 million a month, compared to the same period or months in 2013, which averaged to a little over a million a month.

Higher revenues

PNR revenue also increased by 70 percent, and its non-rail revenue likewise grew by 30 percent compared to last year's. Dilay said it will cost billions of dollars to fully rehabilitate PNR and make it a modem train system that is fully automated and the train cars powered by electricity. Currently PNR has only 22 diesel-fed trains, half of them not running and in need of parts. The agency is in the process of requesting some P11 billion from the Department of Bud-get to be used in the rehabilitation of tracks from Manila to Bicol, the purchase of new trains, and the repair of existing ones. Track improvement through double tracking will allow trains to run faster than their 40 kph average speed today. Dilay envisions PNR to once again play a major part in the country's transportation system and no longer suffer neglect. The height of PNR's prime existence before its neglect in the 1970s was during the presidency of Ramon Magsaysay, when first class air conditioned trains with all the trappings travelled from Manila to La Union.
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 09, 2018, 03:43:20 PM

< Edited >

The The Philippine National Railways (PNR) proclaims the period of 1954 to 1960 as its golden years. The success of the Manila Railroad Company or what is now known as the PNR is attributed to the two men President Ramon Magsaysay appointed to lead its modernization. These two men were Capt. Andres O. Hizon and Col. Salvador T. Villa who served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the General Manager, respectively. During their term, they modernized the locomotives from steam to diesel. Under their helm, the company also received the “Business Firm of the Year” award from the Business Writers Association of the Philippines. In the same period, the Congress passed several laws which appropriated money to fund the extension lines. They intended to extend the Southern lines to include Sorsogon and extend the Northern lines from Nueva Ecija to Cagayan. The Congress also set aside money to rehabilitate the lines from Plaridel, Bulacan to Cabanatuan City. 15 years later, the latter is the only one that was completed among all the projects mentioned. The Cabanatuan line made its inaugural run on March 15, 1969.

The circumstances of the following four (4) years is quite the opposite. During this short period, five (5) general managers and six (6) chairmen of the board succeeded each other. The constant change of leadership presumably left the company directionless.

In 1966, Col. Villa was again appointed to the PNR, but this time as the Chairman of the Board. Five years later, a law was passed providing for the rehabilitation and modernization of the PNR. This was apparently to address the deterioration of the PNR. A Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) report pointed out that during the early 1970s, two (2) locomotives were immobile, 11 railcars were burned beyond repair, and eight ( 8 ) passenger cars were damaged due to derailment; only two (2) were placed back into operation. The following year, five (5) stations and 50 kilometers of tracks were rehabilitated, and three (3) kilometers of new tracks were constructed. As part of this project, the PNR also acquired 50 passenger cars and 20 locomotive cars.

In 1977, rehabilitation work began on the Main Line South. During this period, the Espana, San Lazaro, and Sucat stations were also completed. They also installed the first automatic block signaling system and double railway tracking. In addition, four (4) long distance coaches were restored and 30 new coaches were added to the fleet. However, a decade or so later, despite the continued rehabilitation of the Main Line South and revitalization efforts, PNR’s finances were in the red and had to be subsidized by the government.

In 1992, through the Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, the Main Line South was once again rehabilitated and additional diesel engine locomotives were acquired. At the turn of the century, the modernization of the commuter line was completed, as well as the onset of rehabilitation of PNR’s rolling stock. Seven years later, another rehabilitation and upgrading project of portions of the Main Line South was rolled out. Seven years thereafter, the PNR conducted its first major upgrade to some of the locomotives acquired in 1992.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 10, 2018, 12:45:07 AM

Through world wars, revolutions, typhoons and volcanic eruptions.

historyFrom the time the first rail tracks were laid in the Manila-Dagupan Ferrocaril line in 1891 and the colonial train had its first commercial run, until today when the Mainline South (Bicol line) is being rehabilitated under much public anticipation, Philippine trains have been running for 120 years.

At the Tutuban Central Terminal in a bustling district of old Manila, the train journeys of the Philippine National Railways used to start or stop, to or from the north or south ends of Luzon, the largest Philippine island.

From the Manila center towards Baguio in the north, the line ended in Damortis, La Union while south line stopped in Legazpi City in the Bicol Peninsula. From here to there and back it carried people and their goods, their trade and livelihood. From here to there it ferried passengers and freight, towards beginnings and ends, transitions and celebrations.

The colonial Ferrocaril

gomburzaEven near the end of the colonial era, when the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan was established by royal fiat from the King of Spain, and when the world was not yet being shrunk by jet flight or electronic media, Luzon was certainly a formidably sized island to span. In this disjointed stretch of archipelago on the China Sea and facing the Pacific Ocean, for this one pioneering railroad in Asia, it was no mean feat. King Alfonso's decree on June 25, 1875 required Inspector of Public Works of the Philippine Islands to submit a railway system plan for Luzon. This was barely three years after the Cavity Mutiny, and the subsequent execution of the alleged brains of the mutiny, the priests Mariano Gomez, Jose Burgos, and Jacinto Zamora, more known in history as Gomburza.

This first inkling of a nascent Filipino nationalism coincided more or less with the very first important geographic linking of small trading points in Luzon. And this, ironically, by royal decree of the colonial overlord, the last person to appreciate any restless sense of country in his subjects.

Five months after royal decree was issued, the public works inspector of the islands, Don Eduardo Lopez Navarro, submitted his plan. It was titled, Memoria Sobre el Plan General de Ferrocarriles en la Isla de Luzón, and was promptly approved. On June 1, 1887, a concession for the construction of a railway line from Manila to Dagupan was granted to Don Edmundo Sykes of the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan.

For some reason, this concession is later transferred to a Don Carlos E. Bertodano on July 8, 1887, who represented the Manila Railroad Company, or MRRCo. At the end of the same month, a cornerstone was laid for the building the Tutuban Station and Filipino workers started the construction of the Manila-Dagupan railroad.

First trains run as Revolution brews

noliAt the end of the preceding year, in December 1886, Rizal finished writing the Noli Me Tangere, and was having misgivings he might not be able to publish it and it would remain unread. He was short of funds. His friend Maximo Viola came to rescue and financed the printing of 2,000 copies for P300.00 (today's equivalent). Noli was published in Berlin in March 31, 1887 and shortly Rizal sent a copy to his friend Ferdinand Blumentritt.

In 1891 the Ferrocaril opened its first commercial line to Bagbag in Pangasinan. Rizal had started on his second novel two years after finishing the first and he completed the second, a sequel titled El Filibusterismo, also in 1891. While Noli had a decidedly reformist and satirical tone, advocating education as a means of liberating the people, Fili advocated revolution, despite its ending. It was published in Ghent, Belgium, in 1891. Rizal dedicated the book to Gomburza.

As the first steel wheels of a locomotive rolled against the Ferrocaril and steam whistled from engine's metal innards, unrest was brewing in colonial Philippines. First, Rizal was deported by the Spanish authorities, and soon after, on July 7, 1892, Andres Bonifacio founded the Katipunan, a revolutionary organization. The next month, Bonifacio led the Katipunan members in tearing out their cedula, and the Philippine Revolution had begun.

Rizal was called back en route and was thrown into internal exile in Dapitan. On December 30, 1896, he was executed. His novels had sparked a revolution.

Between two colonial overlords

Barely a year after the opening of the first commercial line to Bagbag, the entire line from Manila to Dagupan is completed and put to commercial operations. The total length of the line was 195.4 kilometers. It was inaugurated on November 24, 1892.

In November 1896, the new north line was operating for at least four years when the revolutionary forces overtook it and interrupted rail traffic at various points.

Within two years, the Revolution was relegated to the sidelines when the two colonial overlords, the Spaniards and the Americans, transacted the Philippines as if it were a piece of chattel. This was the false Battle of Manila Bay, where the colonizers surrendered to another colonizer and not to the triumphant Filipinos. And the infamous Treaty of Paris, which concluded the sale.

The Revolution had, as it were, eaten its own children. Bonifacio was executed, together with his brother Procopio, under orders from Emilio Aguinaldo, winner of infighting in the Katipunan and the more influential or skilled revolutionary. As the Americans took over, Aguinaldo was in Hong Kong, heading the revolutionary government in exile.

Revolucionarios and Americanos ride the Ferrocaril.

soldier As the Americans dug in with their colonial ambitions, Aguinaldo declared Philippine Independence on June 12, 1898 on the balcony of his house in Kawit, Cavite. On January 21, 1899 in Malolos, Bulacan, the insurgent First Philippine Republic was established, with the proclamation of the Malolos Consitution.

While hostilities between American troops and Filipino revolutionary forces began in February 4. 1899, the First Philippine Republic officially declared war on the United States on June 2, 1899.

Using the Manila-Dagupan railway, the Americans mounted their campaigns in Luzon and pursued Aguinaldo and his forces in Malolos, leading to major battles there. But the Filipinos themselves used the Ferrocaril transporting soldiers on wagon train from somewhere in Central Luzon to the battlefront. (Arnaldo Dumindin,

It is not known if Aguinaldo made use of the Ferrocaril, either on his way to Malolos or when he started his trek to his last holdout in Palanan, Isabela with the Americans on his heels. His capture on March 23, 1901 in Palanan effectively dissolved the First Philippine Republic.

The Philippine-American War officially ended on July 4, 1902 although Katipuneros like Macario Sakay continued fighting, and in Muslim Mindanao the Moros continued fighting for almost a decade.

Railroad expansion between world wars

tutubanThe early 1900s saw the American colonial government overseeing the resumption of a more or less normal life for the colony and for its business and industry. On April 20, 1900, the US military authorities return the railroad to its owner; two years later, in July 1902, the US Congress authorized the Philippine Government to grant franchise and concession for the construction of public utilities and services.

Within the next decades World War I broke out in Europe but did not directly affect the Philippines as a colony of the United States. Sometime in this period, the Ferrocaril de Manila-Dagupan acquires an English name, the Manila Railroad Company (MRRCo.). In January 1917, the Philippine Government effects the final nationalization of MRRCo.

Under the commonwealth government ownership, in the halcyon days before the country is embroiled in the next global conflict, MRRCo. expanded its railroad network to some 1,140 route-kilometers. On September 13, 1931, the first Bicol train is put into operation. Before the end of the decade, On May 8, 1938, the unified system of railroad from San Fernando, La Union in the North to Legazpi in the South was formally inaugurated.

World War II is generally considered to have started on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. It had been going on for almost two years in Europe when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, forcing the United States to join the War. The Japanese occupy the Philippines one year later and the Imperial Army takes control of the railway until the close of the War in 1945.

Devastation and modernization

Most of the improvements on the rail network are lost during the War. Of the more than a thousand route-kilometers of railroad before the war, only 452 route-kilometers were operational after it. On February 1, 1946, the US Army restored the control of the railway to the Commonwealth Government. On July 4, 1946 the American Government, never having recognized Aguinaldo's declaration of Independence in 1898, granted its own version of Philippine independence. For several years after the War, work was undertaken on what could be salvaged of the railroad system.

Despite the post-war challenges, the Philippine railroad entered into the modern age. From 1954 to 1956, the Manila Railroad Company converted its fleet of trains from steam into diesel engines. Within the following decade, the Manila Railroad Company was given a new charter under Republic Act No. 4156, and the company changed its name to Philippine National Railways.

What follows would seem to be the golden era of the railroad in the Philippines. Although the War devastated most of its network, and barely fifty percent was rehabilitated, during the 60s and early 70s the train and the railroad provided the transportation backbone of Luzon. It had also become the wealthiest among government agencies in terms of assets, with such diversified investments and properties such as hotels, bus lines, and freight services.


In the decade of the 70s government priorities shifted and a pan-Philippine highway was built. And the railroad was relegated to its own backwaters as the buses and trucks and the much faster airliners took over. By the late 1990s to the present decade, PNR trains and the railroad looked battered and reeling from neglect, mismanagement, and typhoons.

In 1995, supertyphoon Rosing devastated much of the line between Lucena and Naga. It was restored one year later. Twice within the decade, on September 28, 1996 to be exact, nature sent Typhoon Milenyo to practically demolish San Cristobal Bridge and other PNR infrastructure in Quezon and Camarines Sur. A little more than two months later, on November 30, Typhoon Reming struck, and brought down Travesia Bridge in the Ligao-Guinobatan section, and most of PNR's station buildings and communication facilities.

During the administration of Corazon Aquino, the North Main Line was closed, with trains unable to reach various provinces in the country. Even the South Rail was also closed due to typhoons and floods, and the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1993, in which ash flows and lava destroyed the rail line and its facilities.

A second rehabilitation

After the devastation from World War II, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and neglect, a second rehabilitation was attempted by the Gloria Macapagal administration. It began with the removal and relocation of informal settlers along the tracks and other PNR right-of-way.

An ambitious project to revive the North Mainline through foreign loans was undertaken but it was saddled with issues of anomalous arrangements with foreign financiers. What has finally been launched into service up to the present are metro-commuter diesel multiple units (DMUs) purchased from South Korea. During peak hours, these commuter trains maybe said to be patronized by the working populace of the Metro Manila more than 100 percent.

< Edited >
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 11, 2018, 01:26:42 PM
Philippine Railway Historical Society


New look of PNR
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 13, 2018, 02:48:19 PM
Published on Feb 2, 2009
February 4, 2008

Phillippine National Railways
South Rail, Buendia Station - Tayuman Station

This afternoon I asked a friend to accompany me to Buendia PNR station and ride the train going to Tayuman..I took some videos while on the train and after that my camera. (Canon Powershot A460.. 5megapixel lang po) ran out memory.. hindi ko tuloy nakuhanan ng litrato ang kabuuan ng station..

Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on October 21, 2018, 05:58:31 AM
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on November 06, 2018, 03:45:38 PM

DOTr and DPWH chastise De Lima for inaccurate, misleading, and myopic views on two Build Build Build projects

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) strongly urge Senator Leila de Lima to get her facts straight, on the heels of her call for the Senate to investigate two Build, Build, Build projects which she claims will displace over 180,000 families in Metro Manila.

As reported in a Rappler article published on November 4 entitled, “2 Build, Build, Build projects can leave thousands homeless – De Lima,” the detained Senator is seeking a Senate inquiry into the NLEX-SLEX Connector Road and the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Projects.

The DOTr notes that what Senator de Lima appears to lump together as the NSCR Project consists of four different projects, namely: PNR Clark 1 (38-km, Tutuban-Malolos), PNR Clark 2 (51-km, Malolos-Clark), PNR Calamba (56-km, Manila-Calamba), and PNR Bicol (653-km, Manila-Matnog; Batangas).

The DOTr and DPWH stress that contrary to what the good Senator may have intentionally or unintentionally misstated, the Informal Settler Families (ISF) affected by the NSCR Projects are not confined to 38 Barangays in Manila, but are rather spread across Region III (Central Luzon), National Capital Region, Region IV-A (CALABARZON), and Region V (Bicol).

It is also stressed that contrary to the Senator's figures, the estimated number of likely affected ISFs is 344 for PNR Clark 1; 1,173 for PNR Clark 2; 11,384 for PNR Calamba; and 1,700 for the NLEX-SLEX Connector Project. For PNR Bicol, the previous estimate of 79,531 ISFs will be greatly reduced because of the DOTr and PNR's approach of exploring re-alignments to avoid displacement of persons, to minimize conflict with road traffic and structures, and to straighten curves to achieve faster operating speeds.

Even assuming the number of affected ISFs for PNR Bicol is not reduced (which it will), the total number of affected ISFs at 94,132 across four regions is far apart from the good Senator's erroneous estimation, which unnecessarily misleads the public on the true scale of the projects’ impact.

It is also important to note that the DPWH and DOTr, in the acquisition of ROW for the Connector Road and the NSCR, are guided by the provisions of RA 10752, or the Right of Way Act and RA 7279, and the Urban Development Housing Act (RA 7279). Public consultation meetings had likewise been conducted by the Local Inter-Agency Committees in various affected areas.

Further, all four phases of the NSCR Project are separately financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and China – a fact conveniently missed by the good Senator.

As with other ADB and JICA financed projects, borrower countries such as the Philippines are required to ensure compliance not just with all applicable local laws and regulations on land acquisition and resettlement, but also with the ADB’s Safeguard Policy Statement and JICA's Guidelines for Social Considerations. This means that part of project preparation and implementation is a comprehensive evaluation of the project’s potential social impact, and the implementation of measures that will ensure that affected persons are left "no worse off," as required under ADB and JICA Social Safeguards.

It bears repeating that these projects are long overdue, and are ultimately meant to alleviate the decades-long suffering of thousands of Filipino commuters in Luzon. Moreover, these projects are poised to economically transform the regions, ferrying in commerce, and increasing incomes faster than before.

The DOTr and the DPWH, under the Duterte Administration, remain steadfast in its goal of giving a better life for all Filipinos, and will not be diverted by criticisms anchored on false and misleading data.
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on February 24, 2019, 04:23:55 AM
Department of Transportation - Philippines
February 21 at 12:25 AM

LOOK: Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines HE Koji Haneda and Ambassador of Philippines to Japan HE Jose C. Laurel V signed the grant agreement worth an estimated JPY1.2 billion for the train simulators of the Philippine Railways Institute.

The first-ever Philippine Railways Institute (PRI) is envisioned to become a training institution and licensing body, which will ensure that all individuals who will operate and maintain the trains, as well as other personnel involved in its operations, will have the necessary skills, qualifications, and service-oriented mindset.

The grant is one of the five documents signed after the Philippine-Japan High-Level Meeting today.

The signing was witnessed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Japanese Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Hiroto Izumiz.
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on November 21, 2019, 11:53:33 PM
The following site shared the following travel schedule for the Bicol Express back in 2011

Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on November 22, 2019, 12:35:24 AM
Gov't to create Philippine Railway Institute
Published July 3, 2017 10:17am

The government is now in the initial stages of creating a Philippine Railway Institute which will serve as a training center for employees of public railways, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said Monday.

"I'm talking with JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) right now to put up a Philippine Railway Institute," Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said before the Philippine Transport Forum in Pasig City.

According to Tugade, the government is looking at the Philippine Railway Institute as a training center for employees of public railways in the country.

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Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on November 25, 2019, 09:18:22 AM
127th anniversary of the Philippine National Railways: November 24, 2019.

Photo c/o: Philippine Railway Historical Society (PRHS) (

Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on December 06, 2019, 11:55:04 PM

How much are each of these railway projects worth, and what is their status so far?

1. North-South Commuter Railway System (NSCR)

National expenditure program (NEP) 2020 allocation: P84.7 billion
Total project cost: P777.55 billion
Source of funding: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and ADB
Construction timeline: Partial operations by 2021, full operations by 2023
Capacity: 350,000 passengers daily
Status: 3 civil works contract packages opened for bidding in August

The 147-kilometer, 37-station mass transportation system aims to bridge Central Luzon, Metro Manila, and Southern Luzon by integrating Philippine National Railway (PNR) Clark 1, PNR Clark 2, and PNR Calamba. It is expected to shorten travel time from North Avenue to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 to 45 minutes.

The railway will also link the Light Rail Transit (LRT) lines 1 and 2, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line 3, and the forthcoming Metro Manila Subway.

It is the biggest project under the 'Build, Build, Build' program. (READ: Philippines, Japan sign $1.54-billion loan deal on North-South Railway)

2. Metro Manila Subway Project

NEP 2020 allocation: P9.8 billion
Total project cost: P356.96 billion
Source of funding: ODA
Construction timeline: Partial operations by the 2nd quarter of 2022, main line completion by the 3rd quarter of 2025
Capacity: 365,000 passengers daily
Status: Groundbreaking ceremony was held last February

The 35-kilometer underground railway will span Valenzuela City to Parañaque, with a connection to NAIA Terminal 3.

By 2022, 3 stations are expected to be in operation, namely the Mindanao Avenue-Quirino Highway, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue stations.

By 2025, 15 stations will be operational, connecting Quirino Highway to NAIA Terminal 3 and cutting travel time down to half an hour with the trains running up to 80 km/h.

3. MRT3 Rehabilitation Project

NEP 2020 allocation: P5 billion
Total project cost: P21.97 billion
Source of funding: ODA
Construction timeline: Completion by December 2022
Capacity: 650,000 passengers daily
Status: Ongoing procurement of supervision consultant

The rehabilitation project will cover restoration of assets including light rail vehicles, tracks, signaling system, overhead catenary system (OCS), communications sytem, and depot and station equipment. It will also undergo a 43-month maintenance period, which already started in May 2019 and will end in November 2022.

The MRT3 has deteriorated and runs at a slower operating speed – from 60 km/h to 30 km/h – and increased gaps between trains from 3.5 minutes to 7.5-10 minutes.

The deterioration was blamed on the "compounded effect of neglect, bad maintenance practices, and failure to undertake scheduled overhaul and upgrading works" by the previous maintenance provider. This prompted the DOTr-MRT3 to enact a comprehensive rehabilitation, repair, and restoration of MRT3.

4. Mindanao Railway Project

NEP 2020 allocation: P97 million
Total project cost: P82.9 billion (a 130% increase)
Source of funding: China ODA
Construction timeline: Start by the 1st quarter of 2020, target opening by the 4th quarter of 2022
Capacity: 110,000 passengers
Status: Ongoing pre-construction works and environmental impact assessment

The project targets reduced travel time from Tagum City, Davao del Norte to Digos City, Davao del Sur from 3 hours to one hour.

The 3 cities of Tagum, Davao, and Digos entered into a memorandum of agreement with P5.6 billion allocated to the acquisition of properties and administrative costs.

Its project cost jumped from P35.9 billion to P82.9 billion in July to cover changes in the cost of construction works and the addition of a satellite post in Davao City.

5. PNR South Long Haul

NEP 2020 allocation: P877 million
Total project cost: P175.32 billion
Source of funding: China ODA
Construction timeline: Start by 4th quarter of 2019, partial operations by 2nd quarter of 2022
Capacity: 100,000 passengers
Status: Establishing control points

The 639-kilometer line will connect Metro Manila to the Southern Luzon provinces, shortening travel time from 12 hours via car to only 6 hours.

A loan agreement for the railway's project management consultancy was signed during the bilateral meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping last August 29.

The PNR was earlier flagged for illegally using the funds for the PNR South Long Haul Railway to pay for security services costs incurred in 2017. The current organization of the PNR drew flak for its inefficiency and mismanagement. (READ: COA raises red flags over PNR 'illegal use' of funds)

6. LRT1 Cavite Extension

NEP 2020 allocation: P74 million
Total project cost: P64.9 billion
Source of funding: Public-private partnership for civil works and electromechanical system, Japan ODA for light rail vehicles and depot
Construction timeline: Partial operability by 4th quarter of 2021, completion by 2022
Capacity: 300,000 to 500,000 passengers daily
Status: Ongoing piling works since September 1

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Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on December 08, 2019, 05:08:15 AM
Following provides interesting insights into why the PNR deteriorated

2.5. Sustainability

PNR liabilities have continuously exceeded its assets since 1995, and the financial situation of the organization has been deteriorating steadily. One of the main reasons for the deficits is the large share of costs occupied by personnel expenses. The Philippine government has also reduced its subsidies to PNR and has requested the organization to slim down its operations. In fiscal 1999, personnel expenses accounted for over 85% of operating costs, and even in terms of the absolute amount, it was not possible to finance these expenses using operating profits. As mentioned above, budgetary shortfalls have led to shortages in spare parts and so on (Table 5 below).

In 1996, PNR had a total of 2,338 employees, but this number dropped steadily in the four years thereafter, and in August 2000 stood at 1,978. As of January 2001, the Rolling Stock Maintenance Department (RSMD), which is responsible for the maintenance of rolling stock, employed 394 people (21 managers, 38 engineers, 332 skilled workers, and 3 unskilled workers). Of this number, 77 people (against the
planned level of 60) are currently employed at the rolling stock maintenance depot that was newly constructed using ODA loan funds, 35 of whom are actually positioned in the department.

Since PNR is not hiring new staff, aging is advancing among personnel and many employees are in their forties and fifties. Given the fact that inspection and maintenance operations are not being conducted according to schedule, PNR has responded that it has secured sufficient employees in quantitative terms, however, it indicates qualitative problems, particularly among engineering staff. It is
also reported that insufficient training is giving rise to problems in that workers are not proficient in the operating methods of some of the inspection and maintenance equipment installed at the rolling stock maintenance depot. There are concerns about the sustainability of the project in light of the current circumstances within PNR including its deteriorating finances, the aging of personnel and the maintenance of skills levels.
Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on December 08, 2019, 12:11:02 PM

Title: Re: Philippine National Railways
Post by: adroth on December 14, 2019, 12:18:24 PM

See photos of the construction activities of the JICA-assisted North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) Project. Once completed, the NSCR will ease commuting time from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila to 35 minutes from today’s 2-hour commute.

Photos courtesy of Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd.