Archive for the ‘Public Transportation’ Category


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This might be Mega Manila’s 2030 mass transit map if the recommendations of the JICA Transportation Plan is fully realized.

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.

I have been asked two things in Tumblr about the Metro Manila Mass Transit already.

  1. Can the two elevated Light Rails (LRT 1 and MRT 3) could hold Heavy Rail Coaches?
  2. Can LRT 1 Train Coaches can go to the MRT-3 tracks and vice versa?

Answering the first and second question will have to be connected with the engineering specs of both tracks. Interestingly, both LRT and MRT rail track run at the Standard Gauge and their electromechanical works run overhead. There is a possibility that LRT trains could go to MRT tracks and vice versa, but the difference lies in their coaches. MRT coaches run at 120kph and LRT lines at only 60 kph. MRT leans more to the Rapid Rail Transit than the Light Rail Transit. LRT has then have to convert the old line to a more Rapid Rail Transit and to demolish stations that is almost a kilometer away from the preceding and succeeding station. To repeat, there is just a possibility, and I don’t think the physical integration of the two lines will not happen within the short term.

The Answer for the heavy rail train conversion is obviously, more on the structural capacity of the trackways themselves. Heavy rails might be too heavy for the rail to handle that it might collapse. In this premise, the tracks of LRT 1 and MRT 3 might not handle heavy rails.

The Central Station in Arroceros will not be named the Central Station with no reason at all. The MMETROPLAN Report concludes that the ideal railway alignment should be like this, everything will converge at Central Manila. Oh well, the plan was not observed and had undergone revisions like the EDSA MRT and splitting of the Commonwealth Espana Railway into MRT-7 and 9. Cities aren’t that static, everything is subject to change every now and then.

But even at the current set up, dreaming of an integrated Mass Transport will always be a foolish man’s dream.