Welcome one and all to the 'Philippine Railway Historical Society' blogsite. This site was set up to share photos, historical pieces, comment and virtually anything else pertaining to transportation in the Philippines, with a special emphasis on rail. Occasional we vary from topic, but this is the less serious side of the hobby shining through - cause sometimes, in this miserable and uptight world, we just take ourselves a little too seriously.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

John Middleton's Trip Report.

Trip reports on the railways of the Philippines are an all to infrequent occurance. We really appreciate John Middleton taking the time to share his recent trip with us.

Please feel free to add any additional information etc in the 'comments' section!


A short business trip to Manila over the period 19-23 January 2008 allowed a quick look at PNR operations which seem to be pretty much as previously reported (Continental Railway Journal 152).

There are two steam locomotives in faded plain black livery with PNR logo plinthed in reasonable external condition (although missing many parts, including all cab fittings) outside Manila station which seems to double as the PNR offices, there is also a chapel on the concourse ! The locos are;


- 0-6-0T OC KS (b)

(a) No plates but previously reported as ex Manila Railway Kerr Stuart 1021/1907, originally named SANTO TOMAS, some parts are stamped 1007 which would actually make it CAVITE). This loco was formerly on display at Fort Santiago in Intramuros, the old Spanish city.

(b) Assumed to be ex Manila Railway CABANATUAN (KS 777 of 1905) although carries no identification

Shunting the station area was GE type U10B Bo-BoDE No. 5002. Coaching stock was a mixture of Japanese built de-motored diesel railcars and second hand coaching stock from JR East in Japan, trains appear to typically run as 4 coaches and are in very poor condition. Visible in the distance at the running shed were a further four locos but lack of time prevented further investigation.

Some 5.8 km to the north are Caloocan workshops, the line to the workshops is only used when there is a need to transfer locos or stock for repairs which appears to be rarely as the tracks were covered with people, stalls and makeshift homes although it does clearly see use which must cause havoc as everyone has to move out of the way. The workshops themselves are quite interesting with lots of old equipment. Access was freely granted, present were 21 locos in various stages of storage / dis-repair plus a number of coaches, little work seemed to be taking place although there were plenty of workers around. Locos seen were:

GE type U14C Co-CoDE: 906, 911, 913, 914

GE type U15C Co-CoDE: 903, 908 (the second loco to carry 908 reported as renumbered from 904), 920, 921

GE type U10B Bo-BoDE: 2510, 2515, 2518, 2535, 2538, 2539, 2540, 5001, 5003, 5004, 5006, 5008, 5010

Of these 908 is a derelict and stripped shell in the grass outside and 920 inside is missing its cab, all of the rest look relatively complete but very battered. Most were dusty and nothing looked as if it had moved recently. Staff said some locos had been scrapped during 2007 and these were probably some of the earlier 25xx series of U10B which were reported in March 2007 as written off (2504/22/28/36/37). Since PNR’s only income appears to come from the very limited suburban service on the line to the south, presumably the value of the scrap is some additional revenue.
Livery is mostly blue but 5010 is red, 903 and faded brick-red colour and 908 faded yellow.
Also at the works was the breakdown train mad up of former DMU cars (IC-888 + TA5 and Power Car MCBP 4). Other de-motored DMU cars and ex JR coaches were scattered around along with a derelict inspection car (Buda-22) and two derelict tampers and a crane.

The whole operation is incredibly ramshackle and rundown and clearly operates on the proverbial shoestring but everyone met was extremely friendly and access and photography freely allowed everywhere.

John Middleton1 February 2008

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