PNR - 2 Billion revived South Luzon Railways for the new train trip comeback

PNR restoring South Luzon railways

the Philippines: The train service that can take travelers from Metro Manila to Naga City in under 10 hours is set to make a comeback in the next few months, promising to help the Bicol Region maximize its immense potential for economic growth.

The state-run Philippine National Railways (PNR) has been working on the Manila-Naga rehabilitation since the start of the Aquino administration.

Following a test-run earlier this month, the PNR on Wednesday declared that the dream of reviving the fabled “Bicol Express” could soon be a reality.

“In my assessment, the Bicol test-run we conducted was 95-percent successful and we are nearing our objective to put back in operation the commercial PNR trips to the Bicol region,” PNR General Manager Junio Ragragrio said.

“We were delighted to reach Naga City from Manila in less than 10 hours. We were even more in high spirits on our return trip to Manila the following day since it only took us nine hours going back,” he said.

The 10-hour mark had become the PNR management’s yardstick because it takes an average of 10 hours to get to Bicol from Manila by bus. Making it in less time means the PNR train service can become an alternative means of transport for people who cannot afford to go by plane.

He said the resumption of the Bicol Express would open doors of opportunities ranging from boosting local tourism to stirring up economic activities in Southern Luzon.


Trains could help for tourist access – Southern Luzon Tourist Destination

The popular tourist destinations in the Bicol area include the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) in Camarines Sur. Mayon Volcano, known for its near-perfect cone shape, is also in Bicol.

Another eco-tourism destination is the town of Donsol in Sorsogon, where tourists are able to swim with whale sharks.

Several projects were on the table for the Bicol Express route, including the renovation of several train stations traversing the provinces of Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur and Albay.

“The PNR would like to be among the major catalysts and a partner in the further development of the country connecting provinces via a comprehensive railway system,” he said.

“The railways system during the early growth of this nation during the Spanish and American times was the very backbone of social and economic progress. It was done before and it can be done again,” he said.

The test-run was conducted during the weekend using a newly refurbished locomotive train with several tourist-class coaches and covered a distance of more than 400 kilometers.

Earlier, PNR would spend P1.8 billion for the rehabilitation of the train line. About P200 million would go to the acquisition of new trains and rehabilitation of existing ones.


PNR World Class train amenities

The rest would be spent to fix the 400-kilometer stretch of track from Manila to Bicol that had deteriorated and become unusable in the past few years due to neglect.

He said train cars called “sleeper coaches” were used during the test-run to check its journey worthiness. All train coaches in the Bicol Express will be air conditioned, he said.

Also included in the test-run was a locally refurbished passenger coach with several reclining chairs with a fit and finish comparable to imported train cars. It has better amenities to compete with imported first-class air-conditioned bus.

We are offering three classes of train cars once we start operations of the Bicol Express. We have the tourist class where we have reclining chairs with more leg room compared to commercial buses”.

The newly installed amenities should help attract more passengers to use the train line, which he sees as a better alternative to busses.

Other amenities include widescreen LCD monitors with state-of-the-art sound system to allow passengers to comfortably watch movies during the long trip.

We also have two types of sleeper coaches. One is a family suite that is good for a family or ‘barkada’ of four to six persons. And we also have the executive class for passengers who would like extra privacy during the lengthy tour, and part of the attraction is the inclusion of a dining car with an ambiance of first-class restaurant.


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1 comment:


    I saw posting from other website and they are using the oldest train photos which seems so sarcastic news and it make me feel bad but the Photos of PNR train here looks better than in the other website.

    The refurbished train are still fine as a temporary alternative. We hope soon we could have new couches to replace these old ones


    That’s good. It’s the best thing to have newer and more efficient in the railway. It is more safer and less noise pollution as well.


    For the people who are commenting that the 40 – 50KM per hour trip, I agree with you but nothing we can do because it is the only speed capacity of the train. For the newly revitalizing economy of the Philippines, The Country could not afford for it. It will cost Billion Dollars almost the same as the Bataan Nuclear Plant cost.
    If there are few who could challenge come risk-taker businessmen to invest in PPP for Bullet train, then it could be better. This time we could not compete other countries for bullet train if we don’t have enough funds.


    For the government and Local Private investors and business men; I think you could help boosting the Philippine Economy by investing for the further research and development. You care financially capable and the Taxation in the Philippines considers the Research and Development costs THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO IMPROVE THE R& D FOR EQUIPMENT, ADVANCE WEAPONRY, SHIP AND VESSELS DEVELOPMENT, ETC. l


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