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Forms of Transportation in the Philippines - Railroad Trains

The only railroad train I know of and has ever actually seen is the Philippine National Railways (PNR) train route of Tayuman, Manila to Legaspi, Albay. This is because the Jeepney I ride to go to school passes through Quirino Avenue and Herran Street in Paco, Manila where the train route passes by. This is also where the PNR Main office used to be. Railroad trains in the Philippines often depicts an image of rusty, old, and dirty locomotives with passengers hanging out the windows, doors, and rooftop.

The first railroad track to have been built in the Philippines was the Manila-Dagupan line in November 24, 1982. It was a 195 Kilometer track with a main terminal in Tutuban, Manila. In February 1, 1916, this track was extended to Legaspi, Albay, and San Fernando La Union. Extension branch lines were also added in various destinations such as Mandaluyong, Laguna, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija. Most of these routes are still operational, but the Manila-Albay route is the most active. The last official improvement on the railways was on February 23, 1995 which implemented the improvement of the Commuter Line South which serves a 40 Kilometer route from Tutuban, Manila to Calamba, Laguna. There was a supposed National Railway Improvement project initiated by the Government under the leadership of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, but as with the National Broadband project, it was plagued by corruption allegations and numerous dilemmas that it was temporarily put on hold.

The railroad train of the Philippines even popularized the idea of the people who reside along the railroad tracks. Throughout the whole railways of the Manila-Legaspi route, there are squatters who have built shanties and makeshift homes. This sparked the connotation of a spoof of the movie "Home Alone" which is "Home Along" short for "Home Along da Riles" or “Home along the Railroad Tracks". They often build their own railroad carts (similar to the service and maintenance carts used in railways) and use them as a sort of public transportation similar to the way a tricycle or Pedicab works. This is highly illegal and dangerous, since they get in they way of the trains. When a train does approach, and the railroad carts are in the way, the driver of the cart asks the passengers to get out of the cart, takes the cart out of the tracks, and after the train has passed by, returns the cart to the tracks and the passengers jump right back in and they continue their trip.

You can read more information about the Philippine Railways in the PNR official site,. It doesn't really offer any images, and the site is poorly built. For great images of Philippine Railways and Trains, go here. It's a nice site written by a Railroads and Train Enthusthiast.

If you can read Japanese and your system supports Japanese Text go here. It has a wealth of information and great images that makes the PNR official site "dismal" to say the least. It even has pictures of postage stamps showcasing the Philippine Trains. It seems that Foreigners offer more information and admiration to the Philippine Railways and Trains than Filipinos themselves.

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