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.

If you have a question Philippine railway related, just drop us a line, maybe we can help.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Hi all, some discussions on the Philippine National Railway tank cars have been occuring on the PRHS 'Philippine Modelling Yahoogroup'.

As a result I have been going through some of my more recent shots of the prototype and prowling the internet for possible items in which to base a reasonable model.

Walthers model.

No idea who makes this tanker.

This tanker by Model Power looks like it may have much potential.
The difference that stands out most between them is the dome height, which always seems somewhat taller than the PNR version.
This could always be fixed by chopping a bit out of the dome should you be truly fussed.

For more ideas, a Google search for HO Tank cars gives a lot of different types.
If you are interested in modelling anything Philippines, whether it be trains, buses, planes, buildings, ferries or just scenery, we would welcome your ideas on the Philippine Modelling Yahoogroup. Discussion without the bitterness that has invaded our main PhilippineRailways Forum.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


The PRHS now has a second main Yahoo chat forum for people to join.

The new group is set up as a companion to our original, 11 year old, Yahoogroup and will return us back to the societies roots and what the forum was really mean't to be.

It is not a replacement group, it has a far different outlook and approach to that of the original group nowdays.

It will not be a group for everyone - its based more on making friends and having fun within the hobby, rather than pure train discussion all the time. Please, if fun is important, please check us out at PhilRail-SIG.

The fun and friendship side of the Philippine transportation hobby.

The serious side of the Philippine Railway hobby.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Some more Panay historical guff.


The Quirino-Lopez Bridge
By Dr. Vic Pido

A view from the Quirino Bridge.Well folks, we’re just a few days before December. The weather is fast changing. Traveling around will be good because we’re going to have a cool weather while we’re in traveling togs and shoes.

This time, we tackle the Iloilo River from the Quirino-Lopez Bridge.

Last issue, we learned that the Arroyo Fountain lady faces due east, which is where we get our sunshine. But nowadays, the sun rises from the east-south direction, which is exactly the area where we look at the Iloilo River, exactly on top of the Quirino Bridge. As you can see in the photo, the sun is at our back.

Nicolas Loney the man responsible for the construction of the Muelle Loney in 1926.As for the river, we are standing on the deeper part of it, which explains why the sea-going vessels are parked along its banks.

It would be crazy for seafarers to go down northward towards the rest of what we call the Iloilo River. Puzzling, isn’t it?

The story’s like this. In 1926, a guy named Loney, a sugar planter from Iloilo, built a canal from the south harbor of Panay, going due north. The canal ended just right under the Quirino Lopez Bridge. This canal served as a port for sea-going vessels, to ferry out the sugar cane of Loney. The sugar cane was brought in by Loney’s railway, which we used to call the Panay Railways. Remember that? Thus the birth of the Iloilo port and railway systems.


From: THE NEWS TODAY - Iloilo City

Henry F. Funtecha, Ph.D. 2009

The railroad network in the Visayas (II)
In the previous column, it was stated that the construction of a system of railroads in the Visayas was one that was given emphasis by the government authorities in the early days of the American occupation of the Philippines. These railway lines were to be constructed in Panay, Cebu and Negros.

The preparation for the construction of the Visayan railway system began in June 1906. After location surveys were completed, orders were placed for large quantities of construction materials, tools and machinery, 4 locomotives, 50 construction flat cars of 40 tons capacity and 50 ballast cars from the United States (Manila Daily Bulletin, November 3, 1907).

In order to be able to unload and care for the shipments upon their arrival and for all future orders, surveys were made for terminal grounds. These were found in Lapuz, La Paz across the City of Iloilo and along the pier in the City of Cebu. Temporary wharves and bodegas were constructed, and temporary tracks of light rails were laid to help in the storage and movements of the materials and tools.

By the early part of November 1906, the task of locating the lines where the railway will pass were partially done. The relevant maps and profiles of the final location of a 36-km. line from Iloilo City to Pototan and another 36-km. line from Cebu City to Danao had been filed with the Insular Government. On November 14, 1906, the American governor-general formally opened the construction of the Panay line in Iloilo, followed by that in Cebu on November 17 (Report of the Philippine Commission 1907).

In both Panay and Cebu, construction works involved not only the laying of the railroad tracks but also grading of the land and construction of the terminal building, bridges and culverts. The steel spans for bridges were fabricated in the U.S.

To provide for the operation of the lines whose construction was in full swing in mid-1907, orders were placed in the U.S. for 6 additional locomotives, 23 passenger coaches, and 80 freight cars. At this point, there were already in Panay and Cebu 7 locomotives and 100 freight cars (Manila Daily Bulletin November 3, 1907).

The locomotives were American in make and consisted of 50-ton for heavy construction work and ballasting, 30-ton and 35-ton for mixed train service. Generally, 70-pound steel rails, hardwood of the highest grade for ties and 6 inches of ballast were used. The passenger coaches had steel underframe and were equipped with complete air brakes and signals. The first-class and parlor coaches were finished in teak and the second class in sheated yellow pine (Report of the Philippine Commission 1909).

The railroad project in Negros, on the other hand, was postponed by the Americans to a later date because of the pre-occupation on Panay and Cebu. Unfortunately, the work on the Negros line never materialized.

On September 16, 1907, the Philippine Railway Co. opened the 36-km. line between Talisay and Danao in Cebu. In Panay, the first 36-km. line from Iloilo City to Pototan was opened some time in December 1907. The complete line to Capiz was not completed until June 1910 (Manila Daily Bulletin November 3, 1907).

Monday, July 5, 2010

~~ New Philippine Transportation News Site ~~

Check ot the PRHS Homepage for the new Phil-Trans page.

This will occasionally cover news and views on Philippine railway (and other) transportation and preservation in the Philippines.

Content mostly coming from what I used to place on the Yahoogroups - but now more widely available.

Photo: Rodney Orca, showing SSC members restoring the Abad Santos signalbox.


Sunday, July 4, 2010


Everyone has their darkest days, a day they regret, a day they wish had never occured.

For me it was during February this year when a visit to Manila brought me to the immense reality that railway preservation in the Philippines, by the society I personally had started the ball rolling with (along with friends Bill ad Harvey), had greatly failed the people of the Philippines.

The endless need for ego massaging, to take hold control of all railfan societies based on the Philippines and to be alongside managers and other dignatories at railway events, mean't that the wholesale scrapping of important items went unnoticed.

Indeed, the soon to be proclaimed new president of the 'Railways and Industrial Heritage Society Phils. Inc.' was horrified to learn of what I had found, not least due to the destruction of a couple of his personal favourites.

The soon to be out-going president (officially, but not in reality), too busy massaging his own importance, has since brushed it off saying that they decided to keep whatever "THEY" could hope to restore in their lifetime, without thought to other peoples lifetimes.

You see, socities are mean't to be full of OTHER people. A society works together to achieve a common goal.

Socities, including railway socities, require the usual heirachy at the top, but when these people fail to treat their members and others with respect, they soon find people leaving for other goals. Not even the appointing of a puppet president will curb this downturn - people seeing straight through the bulldust into the reality of what is still going on.

Railway preservation in the Philippines has been failed - Totally Failed.

No amount of ego, smoke screens, mud slinging, lies, lies or other carrying on will ever change this.

The question being put to a meeting of the PRHS this Friday is:

"Is there any reason to continue reservation in the Philippines, should there be a new more considerate society and how can things be done differently?"

Three questions, but three very important questions needing a lot of discussions.

It all comes down to whether or not what little is left needs to be preserved and is there a new team out there who has the capability of doing it?

A answer of 'NO' would be regretable, but fully understandable, given the total disgrace that has spewed forth since 2007.

Philippine Railway Preservation

Time To Sink Or Swim!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

~~ Indonesian Railway Preservation ~~

A true example of what 'could have been' had things in the Philippines been a different way.

A 'massive' group of 'friends' sharing a similar passion to preserve the history of their railways.
No bickering, no ladder climbing, no hatred, just a whole lot of good hearted and kind people sharing their passion together.

Onya guys - you have done amazing things already.