Philippine National Railways
Philippine National Railways ( Filipino : Pambansang Daangbakal ng Pilipinas ) is the state railway company of the Philippines . It was founded on June 20, 1946 with Presidential Decree 4156 through the nationalization of the Manila Railroad Company (MRR). The company is responsible for the maintenance and the new construction of the route network, the operation of the traffic stations and the train stations as well as the safeguarding of the national rail traffic.
The Philippine National Railways operate a route network of 797 km (as of 2012) on the island of Luzon , which also includes parts of the metropolitan area Metro Manila . Two lines of Mass Rapid Transit Manila are operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA). The last long-distance train connection of the Philippine National Railways and the country was the South Main Line until September 2013, shown in the timetable as the Orange Line. It connected Manila to Ligao City in Albay Province . The travel time on the 445 km long route was approx. 10 hours 30 minutes. Currently (as of September 2016) only the sections Tulubang-Alabang in Metro Manila and Sipocot-Naga-Legazpi in Bicol are in operation.
The northern connection to the provinces of Bulacan , Tarlac , Nueva Ecija , Pampanga , Pangasinan and La Union was closed in 1988, but according to the wishes of the Philippine government it is to be rebuilt.
The beginnings of the railroad in the Philippines go back to the year 1875, when the Spanish King Alfons signed a decree for the establishment of a regulated railroad traffic in the Philippines. Five months later, the first plan was presented by Don Eduardo Lopez Navarro, which was called Memoria Sobre el Plan General de Ferrocarriles en la Isla de Luzón . Eleven years later, on June 1, 1887, the first concession was to build the route Manila- Dagupan awarded to Don Edmundo Sykes of the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan should be based, and started the course work. For reasons unknown today, this concession was transferred to Don Carlos E. Bertodano on July 8, 1887. The first commercial rail traffic on this route began in 1891, the track had a length of 195.4 kilometers . During the Philippine-American War , the railway company was confiscated by the Americans and the route network was used to transport troops.
In 1900 the railway company was returned to its old owner, and in 1902 the United States Congress decided to expand the rail network in the Philippines. However, this was hampered by the outbreak of World War I in 1914. On February 4, 1916, the Ferrocaril de Manila-Dagupan was renamed the Manila Railroad Company, in 1917 this company was finally nationalized by the Commonwealth of the Philippines . Other highlights of the railway history in the Philippines were the commissioning of the Bicol line on September 13, 1931 and the extension of the northern line to San Fernando , which was inaugurated on May 8, 1938. At this point in time, the railway lines had reached a total length of 1140 kilometers. During the Second World War , a large part of the rail tracks and infrastructure were destroyed, and the Manila Railroad Company was confiscated by the US Army in 1945. At the end of the war, only 452 kilometers of track were still passable and reconstruction began. On February 1, 1946, the Manila Railroad Company was returned to the Commonwealth of the Philippines and later renamed the Philippine National Railways and finally nationalized. Another highlight was between 1954 and 1956, when the railway company replaced the old steam locomotives with new diesel locomotives .
The decline of rail traffic in the Philippines began when the Marhalika Highway was completed in the early 1970s and passengers increasingly switched to buses and airplanes . In addition, storms , typhoons , earthquakes and volcanic eruptions affected the route network. The reconstruction of the railway lines mostly failed due to a lack of financial resources, mismanagement and the widespread corruption at the time . This culminated in 1988 with the closure of the northern line. The Bicol line had to be closed in 1995 when Typhoon Rosing destroyed large parts of the rail line between Lucena City and Naga City. The stretch between Iriga City and Legazpi City had previously been destroyed in 1993 by the eruption of the Mayon volcano . In 1996 the line could be put back into operation, but only to Naga City. In 2006, however, it was again badly damaged by a typhoon, so that operations had to be stopped again.
The new beginning was initiated in 2001 by the President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo . During her presidency, priority was given to rebuilding rail traffic on the island of Luzon. After long negotiations, foreign partners were found in Japan , South Korea and China to finance the extensive reconstruction work. The expansion began in the greater Manila area, and the train stations and stops could be reconstructed by 2010. With the acquisition of new locomotives of the type PNR Rotem Sucat Commuter Express from the manufacturer Hyundai Rotem Company , the fleet of vehicles for local transport was modernized. After extensive reconstructions on the Bicol route, it was able to be put back into operation as far as Ligao City in 2011, while reconstruction work is still being carried out on the Ligao section to Legazpi. However, the work on the northern line had to be stopped for the time being in 2011 after the main contractor was unable to carry out the work, which had been ongoing since 2006, on time within the cost plan and in the required construction. The public prosecutor's investigation revealed that corruption in the awarding and monitoring of the contract was responsible for the failure. The order is to be put out to tender; however, a new award can only be made after the end of the pending legal proceedings against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
President Benigno Aquino III, who has been in office since 2010 . declared the promotion of environmentally friendly local and long-distance public transport as a core task of his presidency. He is particularly interested in environmentally friendly railways. In 2011 it was announced that PNR intends to invest 1.8 billion Philippine Pesos (€ 32 million) in the reconstruction of the route network and an additional 250 million Pesos (approx. € 5 million) in new multiple units and air-conditioned passenger coaches. In addition, the train stations and stops in the provinces of Laguna , Quezon , Camarines Sur and Albay are to be renovated. From 2011 to September 2013, intercity connections from Manila to Ligao City were offered, but have not been resumed until today (as of September 2016).
The Philippine National Railways offered three types of train on its route network . The first two types are not used at the moment.
The Mayon Limited operates between Tutuban Central Station in Manila and Ligao City. As a night train, it is equipped with a sleeping car. Two classes were offered: the Mayon Limited de Luxe (1st class) and the Mayon Limited Ordinary (2nd class). Travel time is 10 hours and 30 minutes. Special parking spaces have been built into the 1st class passenger coaches for wheelchair users to make transport suitable for the disabled. Three weekly train pairs are offered. There are intermediate stops in San Pablo City , Lucena City , Ragay , Naga City and Iriga City , among others .
The Bicol Express ran between Tutuban Central Station in Manila and Naga City. As a night train, it was partially equipped with sleeping cars. One train ran per day and direction, four travel classes were offered: Economy, Reclining Aircon, Family Sleeper, Executive Sleeper. According to the timetable, the Bicol-Express takes around 10 hours for the 377.57 km route.
In a north-south direction, the Metro Commuter runs 21 times a day between Tutuban Central Station in Manila and Alabang Station in Muntinlupa City . Only in the evening there are two trains that will be extended. One continues to the Mamatid station and the other to the Calamba terminus in Calamba City . In the south-north direction, the Metro Commuter also runs 21 times a day between Alabang and Tutuban. Only in the morning one train starts in Mamatid and one in Calamba. Not only the diesel multiple units of the Hyundai Rotem are mainly used on this route, but also Kawasaki electric multiple units of the series 203. These are however pulled by old diesel locomotives from the 70s and have a diesel generator installed in a car, which provides power to the doors, lights and air conditioning is needed.
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