Author Topic: PNR’s Bicol Express  (Read 3787 times)

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PNR’s Bicol Express
« on: November 01, 2017, 07:04:50 AM »
See also:

NSRP South Line – Commuter Line

Station     Most recent photo
     
Long-Haul (South)     
     
Lucena City     
Gumaca     
     
Long-Haul extension     
     
Sorsogon     
Matnog     
     
Station     Most recent photo
     
Bicol Commuter

See FB extension here
     
     
Sipocot station     July 13, 2017
Libmanan station     January 2011
Pamplona station      
Naga station     July 13, 2017
Pili station      
Iriga station     Circa 2016
Polangui station      
Ligao station      
Travesia station      
Daraga station      
Legazpi station     January 3, 2017


=====


Route Map


PNR Southern Luzon route (Image from the website of the Philippine National Railways)


Long-Haul & Long-Haul Extension

https://ppp.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/NSRP_PIM_FINAL.pdf





----------------------------------
P175-B development aid from China to revive PNR’s Bicol Express | Inquirer.net - 21 October 2017
Quote
By: Juan Escandor Jr.

NAGA CITY — Using the P175-billion overseas development aid to be borrowed from China, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) will revive the operation of the Philippine National Railway’s Bicol Express with reconstruction of a new railway system from Manila to Bicol, Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez said.

“It is not a rehabilitation,” Chavez said at the Bicol Express Modernization Forum held here on Friday. “It will be a reconstruction. Everything will be new. New railways. New train wagons. New stations. New modalities.”

Chavez said China and the Philippines is set to sign the loan agreement of P175 billion payable in 20 years at 2 percent interest per annum on Nov. 16 and 17 at the time of the 31st Asean Summit and Related Meeting in Manila.

He said the revived Bicol Express would take six hours to reach Bicol from Manila with a design speed of 120 kph and operational speed of 80 kph.

With a timetable from 2018-2022, he said the reconstruction of the new railway system would be undertaken through Chinese general consultancy services while the determination of the firms to undertake the actual construction was still under negotiations.

He said there would be nine new train stations from Paco in Manila to Matnog town in Sorsogon, stretching 683 km of newly constructed railways following international standards.

He enumerated the nine train stations to be constructed as Paco, FTI, Los Bańos, Lucena City, Gumaca, Pili/Naga, Legazpi/Camalig, Sorsogon City and Matnog.

Chavez said China wpi;d bring in and transfer technology and operational expertise to Filipino engineers and operators while utilizing Chinese consultants and contractors. Filipino engineers would handle the maintenance and operation, he said.

< Edited >

Chavez said P45 billion of the project cost would be spent for the resettlement of affected families living within the trunk line while some P9 billion would be spent for land acquisition for the new alignment of the railways.

He said the civil works would cost P102.72 billion; station development and depot, P1.4 billion; electrical and mechanical system, P4.08 billion; rolling stock (trains), P11.60 billion; machinery and equipment, P1.37 billion; and pre-operating expenses, P400 million.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 08:11:42 AM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 09:42:30 PM »
How does such an important service stay offline for so long?

Quote
From: https://www.seat61.com/Philippines.htm

In late 2011, Philippine National Railways resumed daily long-distance passenger trains between Manila and Naga City, previously discontinued some years previously due to typhoon damage.  The Bicol Express train is a comfortable and safe way to travel between Manila and Naga, overnight with comfortable air-conditioned sleepers bought second-hand from Japanese Railways.  From 16 March 2012, the Mayon Limited (now Isarog Limited) trains were added, and train service extended beyond Naga to Ligao, not far short of Legazpi.  It's hoped to extend trains all the way to Legazpi by mid to late 2012.  PNR also operate metro trains around Manila.

Current situation:  Train service 'temporarily' cancelled...

After hurricane damage, these trains were suspended in late 2012 and are still suspended in 2018.  It's not clear when or if train service will be reinstated in fact it may never run again in its current narrow-gauge form.

adroth

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 02:03:47 PM »
Why rail service to Bicol stopped.

Quote
Bicol Express revival hinges on safety issues
Lawrence Agcaoili (The Philippine Star) - December 29, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) said the revival of the Bicol Express service would hinge on the findings of the CPCS Transcom Ltd. of Canada if it is safe to revive the operations of the 422-kilometer railway.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the train service from Metro Manila to Legazpi. Albay would not be revived unless the safety of the commuting public is assured.

“I for one, if I would only look at the economic side of the project would have given it a go signal. However, I am mindful of safety so I have given specific instructions not to run the service unless someone could certify that it is safe,” Abaya stressed.

He pointed out that the agency is awaiting the results of the study of the Canadian firm on the train service operated by the state-run Philippine National Railways (PNR) from Calamba in Laguna to Legazpi City.

“I am answerable to our people and anything that happens to the passengers of PNR is something that my conscience would carry. So I have requested the Canadians to likewise look and comment on areas that we should work on and to certify that the Bicol Express is safe,” he added.


Since the revival of its operation in June of 2011, the Bicol Express line service caters to some 2,000 to 3,000 passengers weekly. The highest ridership recorded during peak travel seasons such as Holy Week, All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day, and Christmas season.

However, the operation of Bicol Express has been stalled following a derailment incident in Sariaya, Quezon October 2012 that injured nine passengers. The flashfloods caused by typhoons damaged the rail tracks as well as the rail bridge.

Abaya suspended the train service and ordered a full investigation on the derailment of Bicol Express Train 611. The train was carrying 120 passengers when the derailment occurred.

Earlier, lawmakers from Region 5 or the Bicol Region vowed to appropriate P20 billion to fund the long overdue rehabilitation of the Bicol Express train service.

Engr. Joseph Allan Dilay, general manager of PNR, said the company needs at least P18 billion to upgrade the railway, reconstruct the bridges, and rehabilitate the Bicol Express tracks as well as the locomotive and rolling stock.

But the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) only approved a subsidy of P344 million for the agency under the 2014 budget, enough only to fund the maintenance of the existing PNR facilities running in Metro Manila.

Dilay clarified that the P20-billion allocation does not include the proposed P2.6-billion double tracking of the 36.3-kilometer Alabang to Los Baños railway section and the P22.6-billion 135-kilometer Sorsogon railway extension line.

The PNR currently operates the Metro South Commuter (MSC) line that runs daily from Tutuban to Sta. Rosa in Laguna, as well as the Bicol Commuter that caters to passengers between Naga and Sipocot.

The Bicol Express provides commuters an alternative mode of transportation that is very competitive in price and comfort with provincial buses.



Read more at https://www.philstar.com/business/2013/12/29/1272906/bicol-express-revival-hinges-safety-issues#IMH71DvCeoe1uipv.99


=====


Quote
PNR eyeing resumption of Bicol trips by December
Katerina Francisco
@kaifrancisco
Published 3:42 PM, May 27, 2015
Updated 11:25 PM, May 27, 2015

< Edited >

The train service, which runs from Tutuban in Manila to Legaspi City in Albay, stopped operations in 2012 after one of its trains derailed in Sariaya, Quezon, injuring 9 passengers.

At the House of Representatives, PNR consultant Antonio Soriano told the transportation committee that a technical team is expected to finish its assessment of the 478-kilometer train line next month.

A test run conducted last year showed that there were a number of bridges along the route that needed to be repaired, Soriano said.

"We discovered about 3 to 4 bridges that had structural issues. We are concerned that if we do the regular run to Bicol, there might be an accident," Soriano said.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: September 23, 2018, 07:31:32 AM by adroth »


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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 05:34:58 PM »
P175-B ‘total transformation’ of PNR Manila-Legazpi to start 2019
By Jorge Hallare  August 18, 2018, 6:16 pm

http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1045256

LEGAZPI CITY -- The construction for the “total transformation” of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) service from Manila to Legazpi is scheduled to start next year, a PNR top official has said.

PNR General Manager Junn Magno, in an interview on Thursday in Manila, said the project is not just a rehabilitation nor modernization but transformation with PHP 175.32-billion budget.

"The transformation program is under the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program of the Duterte's administration and is expected to finish within span of seven years, nowadays the government is under the process of hiring consultants for the project called ‘South Long haul’," Magno said.

He said many informal settlers will be affected by the project because not one but two PNR tracks would be constructed to allow the two-way route from Manila to Legazpi and vice versa.

The problem of relocating hundreds of informal settlers lies in the hand of the National Housing Authority especially in the Bicol Area.

"All the old railway and travesa will be totally removed and replaced with new one to match with the new PNR coaches. The new PNR coaches will run at the speed of 120 km per hour and the travel time from Legazpi City to Manila will be only six hours." he added.

Under the project, the PNR railway will be secured by fence just like the MRT.

For the intersections and highway crossings, the railway will be elevated like the skyway. (PNA)

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 09:20:49 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 >

Read more: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/944049/japan-china-to-help-build-ph-railways#ixzz5RKTfuX1I
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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2018, 09:35:16 PM »
Department of Transportation - Philippines
September 18 at 8:14 PM

https://www.facebook.com/DOTrPH/posts/1206945646111236

Representatives from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), Philippine National Railways (PNR) Management Committee, and China EXIM Bank conduct a site visit in preparation for the intended signing of the Loan Agreement in November for the first component of the 650-kilometer PNR Bicol Project.

The PNR Bicol Project aims to connect Metro Manila to Legaspi in under 5 hours, with further connections running to Batangas and Matnog, Sorsogon.






« Last Edit: September 21, 2018, 09:47:52 PM by adroth »

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2018, 06:26:52 PM »
China vows to finish PNR South project before 2022
Bicol Standard
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

http://www.bicolstandard.com/2018/03/china-vows-to-finish-pnr-south-project.html?m=1

By Jelly Musico

MANILA – China has promised to finish the Philippine National Railway (PNR)’s south railway rehabilitation and restoration project before President Rodrigo Duterte’s term ends in 2022, Malacanang said on Monday.

< Edited >

The 683-kilometer South Line will have nine train stations in Paco, FTI, Los Banos, Lucena City, Gumaca, Pili/Naga, Legazpi/Camalig, Sorsogon City and Matnog.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: September 26, 2018, 06:29:12 PM by adroth »

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2018, 09:19:20 AM »
Making sense of PNR
Wicked Winks
Melvin S. del Puerto

https://www.facebook.com/philippinerailways/photos/a.193033804058243/730513723643579/?type=1&theater

< Edited >

Philippine National Railways (PNR), the same rail track gauge, better known as the “Cape Gauge” has since been maintained (track gauge is a measurement or spacing between rails). This gauge, measuring 3’ 6”is obsolete. Very few countries, among them Mozambique, Sudan, Sierra Leone in Southern and Central Africa, and parts of Australia and New Zealand still make use of it, but mostly for freight.

Although Japan still has this obsolete gauge in some of its limited provincial routes, it is now being upgraded to “Standard Gauge,” which measures 4’ 81/2” to accommodate high speed trains. All other railroads in the world, including the North Americas, Russia, Europe, and China had long converted their rails to Standard Gauge, not only for stability at high speed, but for universal design interchangeability.

< Edited >

 As an example, all LRT and MRT rail tracks use Standard Gauge while the PNR Commuter Train still runs on the old Cape Gauge. Apparently, their trains are incompatible in their respective rails besides their technical differences; the former runs on electricity and the latter is self-propelled diesel locomotive.

< Edited >

The Southern rail tracks, composed of beat-up and decrepit rails, sleepers, ballast and sub-ballast shoulders, and track foundation can no longer sustain a relatively normal train speed of 100kph (the fastest test run on the short refurbished rail tracks in 2009 reached a speed of 100kph, but just for a few minutes). Until lately, the 300 km Manila to Naga run takes 12 hrs, but on rainy days where the rail foundation becomes softer, the train crawls for 14 hrs, or at an average speed of 21kph!

The whole Bicol Express rail tracks and bridges need to be reconstructed and refurbished, not just portions of them after decades of neglect to conform to the required safety specs for a respectable speed, otherwise, we are back to square one, where derailments and 21kph speed are the norms instead of exceptions.

But, even if the Bicol Express route is restored back to the early 70s condition when Naga to Manila took less than 7 hrs, where will the PNR get train replacements when its current obsolete Cape Gauge train inventories finally breakdown and become irreparable as all of them are reconditioned and refurbished 20-25-yr-old Japanese surpluses (PNR relies exclusively on Japanese train dole outs, the only country which still has repairable stocks of this train type which ran once in their provincial routes) and their remaining vestige 45-yr-old GE locomotives are decommissioned for lack of spare parts? These trains cannot run forever. When the national government finally coughs off billions of pesos for rehab to bring the tracks to A-1 condition, very few trains will ply the route, if none at all by the time the work is completed.

What is the best option then?

Obviously, the most sensible thing to do is to convert the present rail tracks to Standard Gauge. By doing so, PNR can avail of abundant supply of new and used trains from many countries where the same gauge trains are built and operated, and not be restricted and solely dependent on Japan’s dwindling Cape Gauge train left-overs.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 09:28:11 AM by adroth »

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2018, 07:27:18 AM »
From: https://ppp.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/NSRP_PIM_FINAL.pdf

< Edited >

IV. NSRP South Line - Long Haul Line

The NSRP South Line Long Haul Railway (“Long Haul Line”) will operate along the same tracks as the Commuter Line and go on to follow the existing PNR Line from Calamba to Legazpi City in the Bicol Region. The Long Haul Line will be expanded by the Long Haul Line Extension (i.e., an extension line of 117km from Legazpi to Matnog)and the Long Haul Line Branch (i.e., a branch line of 58km from Calamba to Batangas (i.e., the Long Haul Line Expansion).

The PNR line to Legazpi City runs a total of 478 km from Manila, including the 56km segment used for the Commuter Line to Calamba. From Calamba to Legazpi, the line is single-tracked and, similar to the Commuter Line, is narrow gauge (1,067 mm).Overall, the condition of the existing PNR line from Calamba to Legazpi is in fair condition largely on account of good construction, relatively light axle loads and very little accumulated traffic. Most rail defects and damage is due to poor maintenance of joints. Bridges are in widely varying states largely due to lack of maintenance, old
age and inadequate protection from natural elements.

There are 397 observed road crossings between Alabang and Legazpi. Of these, 214 are authorized and 183 are unauthorized. Only 31 of the authorized crossings are officially manned by PNR and none of the unauthorized is manned. Unauthorized crossings are ones that have been established without the formal consent of PNR and are often in areas of high encroachment.

As of January 2014, only the existing PNR line between Naga and Sipocot in the Bicol region (35 km) remains operational. This transports approximately 1,300 passengers per day with an average load factor of 50% for the year 2014. The objective of the rehabilitation of the Long Haul Line is to restore existing track structure, including rehabilitation of bridges, to safely accommodate the required rail operations.

< Edited >




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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 09:45:39 PM »
China to finance P743B in PH infra projects
At least 2 loan agreements to be signed when Xi visits Manila in November
By: Ben O. de Vera - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:16 AM October 29, 2018

to be financed by Chinese loans and grants are moving toward implementation ahead of the forthcoming visit of President Xi Jinping in November even as China has yet to provide the Philippine government with a shortlist of contractors for some projects, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) documents showed.

< Edited >

Government sources said at least three loan agreements would be signed on the sidelines of Xi’s visit to Manila, of which financing for two projects were ready for signing—the P175.3-billion North-South Railway Project (NSRP)-South Line (Long Haul) as well as the P12.2-billion New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project.

< Edited >

Read more: https://business.inquirer.net/259719/china-to-finance-p743b-in-ph-infra-projects#ixzz5VIAYVCqT
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2018, 11:33:58 AM »
Subic-Clark rail awaits contractor nominees from Beijing
ABS-CBN News
Posted at Oct 31 2018 12:24 PM

https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/10/31/18/subic-clark-rail-awaits-contractor-nominees-from-beijing

< Edited >

Batan said the commercial and loan agreement for the PNR Long Haul or PNR Bicol is set to be signed during Xi's visit.

Transportation Sec. Arthur Tugade said China needs to nominate 3 contractors for projects that it will fund.

"May proseso ho iyan pag Chinese funded. Ang gusto nila mga involve sa proyekto na mga Chinese," Tugade told reporters.

(There's a process for Chinese-funded projects. They want their fellow Chinese to be involved.)

< Edited >

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2018, 01:05:49 AM »
P175-B South Railway project to start Q2 2019
posted November 04, 2018 at 08:40 pm by
Manila Standard

http://www.manilastandard.net/lgu/luzon/279681/p175-b-south-railway-project-to-start-q2-2019.html?fbclid=IwAR2PZmKE42-azgAyAwDt0420mSUsqcSA_xCM0MyZwA_fBFQ4IFe9tze-IcI

LEGAZPI CITY—Construction of the P175-billion Philippine National Railways South Railways project, a 639-kilometer standard gauge railway line from Manila to Matnog, Sorsogon, and a component of the PNR Luzon System program, will finally push through next year.

< Edited >

The PNR South Railway segment cuts Manila-Legazpi travel down to less than five hours. It runs from Manila to Matnog in Sorsogon with nine major stations—Manila, Los Bańos, Batangas City, Lucena, Gumaca, Naga City, Legazpi City, Sorsogon City, and Matnog.

< Edited >

Originally proposed years ago by Salceda, the PNR South Railways project now forms part of the massive “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration. Relocation of affected families for ‘right of way,’ and procurement of project management consultant services which cost about P14.8 billion, are presently on-going.

< Edited >

The PNR Luzon System includes the following component sections: PNR North 1 (Manila - Malolos) worth P10. 3 billion; PNR North 2 (Malolos-Clark), P211.4 billion; PNR South Railway Commuter (Manila-Los Bańos), P124 billion; and the PNR South Railways Long-haul (Manila-Sorsogon), P175 billion.

< Edited >

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Re: PNR’s Bicol Express
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2018, 11:36:54 PM »
Philippines, China set to sign P175 billion railway loan deal
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - November 6, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to sign this month the P175-billion Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Railways project, a 639-kilometer standard gauge railway line between Manila and Bicol.

< Edited >

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2018/11/06/1866260/philippines-china-set-sign-p175-billion-railway-loan-deal?fbclid=IwAR3taI8x2QfXgQPZVGDNAXy8c9Rhawzqbs9fFhS1mWUO7gemlOX6ZQIi9Pg#9f8DsEfYrfUrzRs3.99