Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Naga: Of Tracks and Trains

In one of our conversations during our recent food trips in Binondo, a famous blogger friend (itago natin sa pangalang Dong Ho) asked us what is the longest train ride we ever had. Most of my friends answered a whole-day train ride experience in and out of the country. I could only come-up with the Baclaran-North Avenue MRT ride.

I am such a loser when it comes to train rides. Although I have experienced the train system while navigating the ins and outs of Hong Kong, or went around Sentosa Island thru its mini monorail station or hopped and transferred in Suvarnabhumi Airport thru its new rail rink, a good opportunity for that long sweaty train ride never really presented itself.

I do hope to change that this year and actually experience a train ride that would last even a couple of hours. As I see it, my best chance would be thru the Philippine National Railroad System. I have heard stories, mostly unpleasant, about the PNR Bicol Express but I guess you will never really know unless you experience it.

One of the best blog posts I have seen on the PNR system is the post made by my idol (itago natin sa pangalang Ironwulf) where he compared the new and old trains of the PNR. This post was made in 2009 where the new trains really looked new and the old trains really looked, well, old. I wonder how they look like now four years after.

How about you? Do you have any memorable train experience?

Note: All photos are taken on the rail road tracks of Naga City which runs parallel to Panganiban Drive of the CBD.


  1. nice set of photos :)

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  2. The only "newer' train I have rode is the MRT in Manila going Makati area. And the oldest railroad i have seen so far is that seen in Bacolod, used for the sugarcane industry. How I wish there are more trains here in Pinas.

  3. Looks like a very interesting journey :)
    I like your pictures!

  4. Ikaw pa nga sir. Ako nga train lang sa perya eh haha.

  5. i attempted to try PNR in buendia but never succeeded. how i wish i'll have a PNR experience too.

  6. Memorable train experience? My travel buddy's pack (with his video and still cameras, passport and some cash) was stolen from our train compartment while we were asleep enroute to Nice from Rome.

  7. China! Xian-Guangzhou is my longest train ride. More than 24 hours, if I can recall correctly. Couldn't chitchat with cabin-mates, no one speaks English :(

  8. I have tried the train ride from alabang to laguna via PNR a couple of years back and the experience wasn't that good. Some squatters are throwing things at the train and the train itself is unkept and untidy.

  9. PNR trains are too dark. You can't go sight-seeing in the dark.

  10. Hi Sir, glad to know of your interest in riding a train and thinking of the PNR service.

    There is this Kiha 52 train that covers the 377.57km distance in just 7 hours. Top speed achieved was 115kph in a clear straight section of the track. Here is a video of K52 passing by IRRI :

    PNR’s FB page is constantly being updated about train schedule and fares. They also have a Twitter page at!/PNRailways

    There is also this railways and industrial preservation site : if you want to know more.

    Awesome pictures by the way.

  11. hehe
    antay ko yun train from manil to camsur
    tara na!

  12. I'm glad the PNR is refurbishing / getting new trains ! It's about time.