Archive for August, 2012

Since the Bicol Express in now fully rehabilitated from a 6 year hiatus from typhoon damage caused by Reming and Milenyo, the Philippine National Railways has been experiencing a revival. Signs of these are the congestion in the Commuter Express and the daily operations of the Bicol Express Train (which has recently reached Legazpi, Albay again), and the Southrail might even reach the south end of Luzon at Sorsogon already. The traffic jams at road have somehow, returned the people to using the trains. With the trains regaining popularity, PNR might reach the old ends it reached at its peak during the prewar times. Until today, only the South Mail Line to Bicol is operational, but during the peak of PNR, the railways already reached a lot of places. The construction of the Pan Philippine Highway and the Expressways contributed to the decline of the trains. When transport shifted to the road, the trains declined. There are 7 lost lines of the Luzon PNR and they are the:

  1. North Main Line. This is the very first line of the PNR, built as Ferrocaril de Manila Dagupan in the final decades of Spanish Rule. It was extended all the way to San Fernando, La Union. It was abandoned in the 1990s when Mt. Pinatubo covered the tracks. It was planned to be rehabilitated into the NorthRail until Angeles in Pampanga as a Link to the Clark Airport, but nothing has been finalized.
  2. Batangas Line. This branches out in Manila and goes until the Batangas City.
  3. Cavite Line. This branches out in Manila and goes all the way through the Bayside towns of Cavite until Naic. Cavite will not be serviced by train until the Cavite Line of LRT South Extension finishes.
  4. Nueva Ecija Line. This branch out in Tarlac and goes westward until San Jose, Nueva Ecija.
  5. Laguna Line. This Branches out in Calamba and goes in the lakeside towns in Laguna.
  6. Baguio Line. This branch was initially built along Kennon Road from 1910-1914 but the usual washing of the tracks during rains, the construction was stopped, and the trains never actually travelled here.
  7. Antipolo Line. This branch goes to Antipolo all the way to Taytay, Rizal. Trains will not cross Antipolo for more than 7 decades, until the Masinag extension of LRT 2 is finalized.