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Monday, June 22, 2009

Bicol Express Back on Track by Year 2010

UPDATE: Manila-Naga Trips to Resume June 2011 CLICK HERE

Lately, the train horn can be heard over my workplace especially every morning. We have been wondering if PNR is "functioning" again, but I said, I doubt it because when I drove all the way to Legazpi last June 18, all the railroad crossings have tracks which were not in good shape or isn't ready yet for a full service train transportation. Here's something that I got from Inquirer.net. Indeed this is a good news, but the question is, how good will the service be, or how good will be the train itself be? Will the railroad tracks be only rehabilitated only or the train itself too? I'm hoping for the latter. Philippines has the poorest transportation in terms of the quality of Trains, especially trains going to provinces. Suntok sa buwan kung magkaroon na tayo ng Bullet Train, but it's nice to dream about it. hihi

PNR to run Manila-Bicol by year end--Arroyo

By Juan Escandor Jr.
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 16:21:00 04/20/2009

NAGA CITY, Philippines--President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo announced on Monday morning the reopening of service of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) in Bicol at the end of the year for its initial run after three years of without operation.

Describing the PNR train a "sentimental tradition," Ms. Arroyo said the repair and upgrading of train stations of the southbound train has started in March and the rehabilitation of railroad tracks would start by May.

She hinted reviving the Bicol train would the economy as it would bring freight from Bicol to Manila and vice versa.

Waxing sentimental, Ms. Arroyo recalled that when she was 11 years old she traveled to Bicol via the PNR train together with her brother Buboy and mother Eva.

She said she enjoyed her ride because of 11 hours of bonding with her mother and brother through lengthy conversations during the long ride.

Last month, Manuel "Ower" Andal, PNR general manager, said once the ongoing rehabilitation works of the rail tracks from Tagkawayan, Quezon to Guinobatan, Albay have been completed, a commuter train will start running to provide fast, convenient, and cheaper transport service to residents of the railroad towns in the provinces of Quezon, Camarines Sur and Albay.

The total cost of the Tagkawayan-Bicol repair works would cost some P1.8 billion. Out of this amount, some P500 million had already been released to the PNR, said Andal.

He said the overall plan is for PNR to resume train operations from Metro Manila to Bicol, vice-versa, before the end of the President's term in 2010.

Andal was in Naga City last week to grace the groundbreaking rites for the rehabilitation of the PNR Naga Central Station, which is estimated to cost P24 million. Aside from this, some P 17 million has been allotted to repair the Traversia Bridge in Guinobatan town, Andal said.

PNR totally stopped its Manila-Bicol-Manila service for more than two years due to heavy damage wrought by super typhoons "Milenyo" and "Reming" to substantial portions of its tracks starting from Calamba City in Laguna up to Legazpi City.

The PNR chief also bared that the government-owned railways company has adopted a new corporate image, from a new logo, uniform for its personnel and improved service.

Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/topstories/topstories/view/20090420-200408/PNR_to_run_Manila-Bicol_by_year_end--Arroyo

Other news links with the same issue just CLICK HERE


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