Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Train Travel in the Philippines

I have used the MRT and LRT lines in the Philippines. These services are pretty new, but are performing well. Like anywhere they can be very crowded, particularly during peak hour. Be careful you dont loose your wallet in peak periods. The inefficency with these services is the time you can spend in queue buying a ticket - often 30-40 people long. But it beats dealing with the road traffic, which is bad pretty well everywhere in Manila, except on weekends.

The Philippines national railway (PNR) network is in a state of disrepair, after operations ceased, homeless people in Manila even live on the travels. Though recently a Chinese company agreed to rehabilitate the network.

By far the best way to travel in the Philippines is by bus. The attendants are very good at remembering where you want to go, and helping you get there. Very cheap. You can go 100km for just P100 ($2.50).

I try to ensure I get a window seat so I can watch over any luggage in the trunk.

1 comment:

alcogoodwin said...

Hi there,
Just a bit of a correction.
PNR operations have never actually ceased and continue operating to this day, although the north line closed many years ago and the south line beyond Binan last year after typhoon damage.
The Chinese are rebuilding the north line beyond Caloocan and this will operated seperate to PNR under the Northrail name.
Korea is currently funding the linkage project from Caloocan to Calamba (plus hopefully the branchline to Carmona).
It should be noted that trains continue to run over most of this area despite the presence of squatters and should only stop when the rebuild reached time to replace the trackage.
All very exciting times for railways over there.

Philippine Railways SIG