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.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011


Klarence Pitoc has brought up the Malacanang Gardens line today which set me Googling again.

At first wondering how it could have got there from Pandacan, but then decided to revisit the fuel branch again.

Continuing on from the terminal it does seem there is an obviously likely route for the balance of this line.

See green line below for what I assume to be the case - Corrections welcome.


While not a huge amount is currently known about them, we are aware that there were a number of lines in the Pandacan area, the only one that's ROW is confirmed being the one to the fuel terminal.
Some recent discussions on the PRHS Yahoogroup lead me to have a bit of an initial look at the area via Google Earth (sadly the Philippines do not have something comparable to our local NearMap) which gives a reasonably good look at the area.
Below are a selection of images found so far, both original and marked.
Of greatest interest is what appears to be intact sidings still in the fuel terminal which, if looks don't deceive, would be well worth an official visit to try and cover photographically.
Has any local ever walked this line in its entirety and given it a full photographic survey?

The final two photos show what looks very much like another ROW on the opposite side of the PNR mainline and working its way to a large warehouse on the river bank.
Does anyone know what this warehouse is now, or what it was previously?

The junction from the PNR mainline (red) just north of Pandacan station.

There appears to have been at least one siding opposite Pandacan station which survived, covered in squatters, until the recent rebuild.

Second part of the Pandacan branch, showing the terminal sidings and a possible extra bit on the end with an opposed facing siding.
Below is a clear view of the sidings area, outlined in yellow.

The Mystery Branchline?

Actually we are unsure if it (below) even was a branchline, but is certainly looks to be the case.
Branching off a little closer to the river than the fuel branch, it heads in the other direction for some distance, before a clearly defined curve and another straight toward a large factory on the river bank.

Again, has anyone done a photographic survey of this section?

Does anyone know who the current and/or previous owners of the large factory are?

Any information on both of these lines would be greatly appreciated

If your interested in the railways of Pandacan, or any other historical railway discussion about the Philippines came join our FREE PRHS Yahoogroup. Our group also contains the latest news, information and photography from the Philippine railways.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


It is with much regret I have to announce the passing of another important member of the Philippine railway hobby.
Late June saw the passing away of Graham Holt (United Kingdom) from a heart attack. Graham was the foremost researcher of Philippine railway topics, both mainline and also the less known industrial railways that once covered a lot of the country.
Graham first joined the PRHS (then Philippine Railways SIG) Yahoogroup on November 4th 2000 (only a few months after we made the move from Egroups).
His first posting to the group coming on December 7th.

“Greetings to all fellow members of the "World Railways" eGroup.
I thought I was joining the Philippine Railways eGroup when my membership was accepted about four weeks ago.
I have been trying to work my way through all the posted messages before taking part.
I accepted that there would be diversions getting to know each other,
such as Naval and Army references which all contribute to the picture
and even accept all the talk of adobo and balut. Many more food and
drink items could be included.
I was amazed by the naiveté of some of the messages. Obviously
many members have not visited the Philippines or only been to Manila. The
thought of trying to follow abandoned branch lines fighting off deadly snakes in the malaria carrying mosquito infested jungle of Pampanga Province is surely a joke.
This part of Luzon, before Pinatubo, was almost totally cultivated and any abandoned branch lines would have either been incorporated into rights of way or returned to agriculture. I don't know what it is like now.
The group is in its infancy and as membership grows it will become totally unmanageable if it does not have some restriction on its
scope and content.
This brings me to the point. Why has it been deemed necessary to encompass Australasia and beyond.
This group should be exclusively for Philippine Railways and associated subjects.
Those who want an Australasian (or World) eGroup should form another
group and then at least one member can take his group membership to over thirty groups.
I will introduce myself properly in my next message.

Following an initial debate over group content, Graham went on to be a valued and regular contributor of news and information to the group.
Graham spent over 30 years intensively researching the various railways of the Philippines, amassing a large amount of information and photos on the topic, with a plan to one day write a book.
Although I don’t believe the book started, he did make a start on a website. http://www.philippinerailways.com

A few years ago I had the pleasure of a visit from Graham and his lovely wife Terry while they were in Sydney. Along with my dear departed friend Bill Sullivan, we spent the night eating and discussion all manner of Philippine railway topics.
The one thing I noticed during the visit was that the Graham in real life was far different to the one I knew online.
Graham was certainly a man who took the hobby seriously. He did not tolerate much fooling around and, as such, we occasionally locked horns when my unusual style of Aussie humour came to the fore.
But despite these times, he was always there to help with a question or a photo when the need arises and it was always great when I could return the favour, not that there was that many occasions in which I had information he needed.
He was an avid collector of Philippine railway items on Ebay, beating me on a number of occasions to a prized item J

Sadly Graham made his last posting to the group on June 21st this year, passing away two days later.

“Re: [PhilippineRailways] Re: 'Bicol Express' soon to regain supremacy in Bicol-Manila public transport services
Surely it is part of the fun of rail travel in places like the Philippines to travel with the local population, not in a sterile box, sorry "executive sleeper".
You can say you have covered the track but not had the "experience".

Indeed Graham had many great railway experiences in his life, these leading to information that has benefited us all.
His experience and knowledge will leave yet another huge hole in the Philippine railway hobby, especially where historical research is concerned.
It is hoped that his collection will enter the archive of a suitable international railway society based in the United Kingdom.

Graham leaves behind his beloved wife Teresita and family Valentina, Maria, Chris, Hollie and Ryan.

RIP Graham Holt
2-4-1943 – 23-6-2011

Brad Peadon (Philippine Railway Historical Society)

Thanks to Graham the PRHS has built a huge database of Philippine railway news, photos and information. Membership is free and available to anyone HERE!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

During a huge clean up and dumping of unwanted railway stuff, I came across some photos I have been hunting down for some. The title photo above was actually the one I was most after, Karel (RIHSPI President)

had asked about it some months prior.

The week was in the early half of 2007 and marked a significant

milestone in Philippine railway hobby history.

A request was made on the PRHS (then Philippine Railways SIG) Forum for people who would like to meet up at Tayuman for a day of watching trains, travelling on same and just to get to know each other.

A week later, a visit to the PNR workshop at Caloocan courtesy of Edward Manapol (one of PNRs nicest people - sadly since gone) saw the decision made that something must be done to preserve this importantly.

Subsequent months saw us go about setting up what is today known as RIHSPI, with the BUDA car that was the basis for our decision now

restored as a static exhibit at Tutuban station.

While, for now, I am unable to be involved in what we started, one day it is hoped that attitudes change enough, the hobby put first, and I shall again be able to make a contribution to that which a handful of railfans and myself started just over four years ago.

Heres to Philippine railway preservation.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Adventures of Pureza Queen of the Rails

Mark Chua is on hand at Tutuban to witness filming of

the latest ABS-CBN project.
A large amount of the filming is done beside the Philippine National Railways system in Manila.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


The photos below by Mark Chua (Philippine Railway Advocacy Group) show the new dining car destined for use on the new Bicol Express.

The carriage itself was part of an earlier delivery of rollingstock from Japan and had been sitting unused at Caloocan Workshops for many years. The recently revitalised service has seen it given a job.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


Railfan Mark proudly shows off 922's new livery of blue and gold.

Her painting now renders the Naga version of the Filtrak livery extinct, while the livery itself is almost extinct on locomotives.

It is quite possibly the shortest livery to have ever existed on MRR/PNR locomotives.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Seems the facts change with each different editor.

EMUs now DMUs

Gone from departing three weeks ago to due in July.

We are still awaiting the Phase 2 ROTEMs that reportedly left Korea two years ago.

Is Manila Bay the new Bermuda Triangle?

PNR’s ‘Bicol Express’ to resume running July 1

NAGA CITY—More than four years since Super typhoon “Reming” derailed its commercial run from Manila to Bicol, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) is set to run again on July 1.

The PNR will run a six-coach train from Naga City to the Tutuban Station in Manila, and another from Manila to Naga City, said Constancio Toledano, manager of the South Railways’ Area 3 covering routes from Tagkawayan, Quezon to Legazpi City, Albay.

He said the trip would last less than 10 hours. Diesel-fed engines would pull the coaches.

A fare rate of P700-P800 would be charged for air-con sleeper coaches and at least P300 for the reclining seat coaches.

Toledano said there would be two air-con sleeper coaches: a 28-person capacity coach with a double-deck bed in one room and a 38-person capacity coach with two double-deck beds in one room.

He said there will also be two reclining seat coaches with a carrying capacity of 68 and 72 persons.

Another coach will serve as dining car for passengers, he said.

Toledano said the PNR would conduct two test runs on June 22 and June 28 before the July 1 commercial run.

He said it took the train nine hours and 50 minutes to reach Naga City from Manila during a test run on May 22 that carried top PNR officials, several journalists and guest passengers.

A return trip on May 23 took nine hours and 35 minutes, said Toledano.

Toledano said the PNR would expand its Bicol commercial run as soon as 10 motorized train cars and 40 trailer cars donated by the Japanese government arrive in July.

He described the motorized train cars as akin to buses with one coach attached to an engine and with accommodations for passengers. It pulls several other passenger trailer cars.

The current PNR train has a separate coach to house the engine which consumes more fuel than motorized train cars that are similar to buses in terms of fuel efficiency.

The arrival of the train cars from Japan would allow the PNR to service short distance routes, said Toledano.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

~~ SAN PABLO 2009 ~~

Philippine National Railways 'San Pablo' station along the Southrail line.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


A lovely old shot from 'The Colonel Collection' showing a train at, what was, a lovely Tutuban.

The signal gantry has long gone, with only one lonely semaphore survivor believed to still exist at Caloocan.
The loco, carriages and even the signalbox have also gone to god.
Quite possibly though, they may still be the original rails and sleepers.

Sadly these are days long gone, days of a very proud rail system.

Thanks to everyone who contributes to our society so we can share with others.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

G'day one and all.
Last weekend I started a extensive cleanup/downsizing of the railway collection in preparation for a pending move of residence. Have also collated all the records of the RIHSPI(ANZ) for disposal as parted of a long drawn out process to wind up everything officially.
In one box I found a number of long misplaced shots that I have been looking for. Their disappearance leaving a big gap in my early photography of the Philippine railways.
Below are a few shots from this collection that may interest.
Ooooh so much has changed.

2532 had the distinction of being the very last in the reverse version of green and yellow.
Her days are certainly numbered in this shot at Caloocan Workshops.

2509 also had seen better days by the time I came across her. Wearing the more standard green/yellow scheme, this bunch of scrapping wiped out all but one wearing these colours, the survivor still exists to this day.

921 (919 at other end) is seen at Tayuman station. They were being used on the shorted Caloocan and Espana shuttle services. The early 2000s would see both the livery and these services end.

Argueably one of the better liveries worn by PNR diesels, the red with yellow lining was not a long survivor. Introduced around the time of the new 5000s, it was worn also by a few 2500 class and all surviving 900s.
At this time, only 5010 survives in the livery, but is stripped at Caloocan workshops and the first of her class considered beyond economical repair.

When I took this shot I had no idea it would lead to many years of trying to find out the history behind 916. No builders lists include her, no record of her having actually been delivered actually exists.
2007 finally revealed the answer we had been looking for. She was originally U14C 908 and had been renumbered after the killing of an army persons son. This sad occurance leading to revenge attacks on the locomotive whenever seen.
Interestingly enough this discover lead us to another, as yet unsolved, mystery of why there was still a 908. While we know the second one was 904, we are not sure how she came to be renumbered. Yet....
The second 908 (originally 904) during her final moments of life. She would soon go to Caloocan, where she would sit of many years, slowly being robbed of parts, until her rotten carcus was finally scrapped in 2009.
Another photo I have clearly shows here U15C Phase One origin, with the large radiator grill at the end of the long hood. The original 908 had the smaller grills associated with the U14C and Phase 2 U15C of Philippine National Railways.

These were indeed great times to be a fan of the Philippine National Railways.
Employees were friendly and the system so open to those with an interest. Sadly it is not so today and visitors to the main railway yard can be expected to be treated with suspicion by security guards - railfanning still appearing to be considered a highly unusual past time.
However much opportunity still exists to shoot modern railcars around Manila at the local stations, or a more friendly atmosphere down south in Naga. That alone makes the trip still worthwhile.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


The recent news about the local governments interest (again) in reopening the Pagsanjan line had me rustling through the archive searching for the photograph here.

Twas taken during my one and only visit to Pagsanjan back in 2007.

While it as supposed to be a family affair, the canoe ride to the falls and lunch with Bill's Filipino family being the basis of it all, what sort of railfan would I be not to squeeze in a little railway time :-)

After a visit to an old picture theater, he took me to the last known substantial remains of the railway in Pagsajan.

Of course the instant visions of 900s crossing this bridge nowdays (although it would never have happened in real life) started flowing through my mind. Then the modeller side took over with ideas of a layout from the station to the bridge starting to knaw their way past the earlier prototype dreams.

But look at that house on the hill.

Imagine, A/C cranked up, Tanduay and snacks, a few mates around to operate a big layout in that front room, then all running to the window at the sound of 902 on the 15.32 arrival in Pagsanjan.


Perhaps, but certainly not in scale form. Hmmmmmmm