Background of the Study
The Philippine National Railways (Filipino: Pambansang Daangbakal ng Pilipinas), or PNR, is a state-owned railway company in the Philippines, operating a single line of track on Luzon. As of 2010, it operates one commuter rail service in Metro Manila and a second in the Bicol Region. PNR restored its intercity service to the Bicol region in 2011. The Bicol Express runs on a daily basis between Manila and Naga.
PNR began operations on June 26, 1875 as the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan, during the Spanish colonial period, and later becoming the Manila Railroad Company (MRR) during the American colonial period. It became the Philippine National Railways on June 20, 1946 by virtue of Republic Act No. 4156. The PNR is an agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications.
PNR used to operate over 479 km (298 mi) of route from La Union up to Bicol. However, continued neglect in past decades reduced PNR's efficiency and railroad coverage. Persistent problems with informal settlers in the 1990s contributed further to PNR's december In 2006, Typhoons Milenyo and Reming caused severe damage to the network, resulting in the suspension of the Manila-Bicol services.
In 2007 the Philippine government initiated a rehabilitation project aiming to remove informal settlers from the PNR right-of-way, revitalize commuter services in Metro Manila, and restore the Manila-Bicol route as well as lost services in Northern Luzon. In July 2009, PNR unveiled a new corporate identity and inaugurated new rolling stock.
On June 25, 1875, under a royal decree issued by King Alfonso XII of Spain, the required Inspector of Public Works of the Philippine Islands was requested to submit a railway system plan for Luzon. The plan, which was submitted five months later by Don Eduardo Lopez Navarro, was entitled Memoria Sobre el Plan General de Ferrocarriles en la Isla de Luzón, and was promptly approved. A concession for the construction of a railway line from Manila to Dagupan was granted to Don Edmundo Sykes of the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan on June 1, 1887.
The Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan which constitutes much of the North Main Line today, began construction in July 1887 with the laying of the cornerstone for Tutuban station. The railway was 195 kilometers long at the time of its opening on November 24, 1892, running from Manila to Dagupan City in Pangasinan.
The maiden voyage of the Bicol Express was on September 13, 1931. The track from Dagupan to Legaspi was completely connected on May 8, 1938.
Later the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan became the Manila Railway Company. It was nationalized and its assets were acquired by the Philippine government, which expanded the rail network, only to have most of those improvements lost during World War II.
Of the 1,140 route-kilometers before the war, only 452 route-kilometers were operational after it. The extensive damage to the system took several years to repair. During the 1950s the Manila Rail Company fleet of trains was converted from steam to diesel engines. The Manila Rail Company was given a new charter under Republic Act No. 4156, and the company changed its name to Philippine National Railways.
Natural calamities such as the 1973 and 1975 floods disrupted services and forced the closure of several parts of the main lines. On July 23, 1979, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Executive Order No. 546, which designated the Philippine National Railways as an attached agency of the Department of Transportation and Communications. In 1988, during the administration of Corazon Aquino, the North Main Line was closed, with trains unable to reach various provinces in the country. Even the South Rail was also closed due to typhoons and floods, and the eruption of Mayon Volcano in 1993, in which ash flows and lava destroyed the rail line and its facilities. However, jeeps,...