So what is the oldest 'Philippine National Railway (or predecessor) locomotive still in operation today?
The oldest locomotive still in existence would be a title of honour to the semi preserved 114 (ex 107, ex 3502) sitting at Lapaz station on the former Panay Railway, however this locomotive has not run for quite some years. Built in Japan as one unit in a class of four during 1963.
Next oldest locomotive type is the 2500 class, the first lot of which, 2501-13, were built in 1965. While some of these still exist, all are out of service at Caloocan, officially 'awaiting repair' but really excess to need.
This leaves 902 as the oldest operational locomotive still seeing regular daily use in the Philippines, either shunting the yard around Tayuman and Tutuban, or doing a occasional shuttle to Alabang, San Pedro or Binan.
Built by General Electric as their #39239 in 1973, she was one of five members of the first U15C type to work there. This particular type stand out from their near identical U14C and later U15C sisters due to a larger radiator grill area to the rear of the locomotive.
Of her sisters:
903: Heavily stripped, still in red livery.
904: Believed to be the now heavily stripped 908 at Caloocan. Large radiator seems to help confirm this.
Despite her years of service in this harsh environment, she still looked in quite good condition, externally at least.
Surely she would have to be a prime contender for preservation, as the only operational member of her class. Only a major fault would warrant replacing her with 903.
Heres hoping she somehow weathers the modernisation and finds a job in the new railway system.