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.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

   I was horrified to read this posting on the former RIHSPI Group this morning and guess others have seen it.
  After 15 years I would have expected most of us would have grown up a bit, but it seems some still hold on to ancient bias and unwarranted childish hatred.
  As someone who openly supported my friend (and RIHSPI President) Karel, plus who had boxes full of donations waiting to go to them when the museum was open, I can assure I am a long way from happy about their apparent stalling.
   I am also greatly supportive of the new splinter group set up by a new member to preserve some of the few things remaining since 2009.
  I've remained quiet about this long enough, but the endless attacks have worn thin.
  As a foreigner in the Philippines, my attacker seems to feel that no other foreigner should have an interest. The fact I started what become the railfan hobby today is seen as a big threat and, as such, rumours of my trying to control the hobby there are made up in order to discredit me.
  Even when we set up RIHSPI it was always the plan that Filipinos should run it.
  Because I am very pro-Philippines, I love Filipinos and it is their country, so they should run it. My only aim from 1999 was to start a hobby there, something I have been quite successful at achieving.
  However despite the passing years, the defamatory comments have continued and I had thus decided to concentrate on promoting the model railway hobby there. This, I am happy to say, has been a lot more positive.
  My closest friend, who passed away a few years ago, pushed me to never give up on the Philippines. For him I have continued despite the pain this attacker has caused me.
  The reality is, by Philippine law I cannot control any group (RIHSPI or otherwise) in the Philippines. This fact does not stop the person accusing me of this ridiculous accusation.
  I've no interest in running a group there (never have and never will). I have enough things on my plate with the hobby here, the PRHS, modeling group I run and every day life to be bothered moving there to live and run a society.
  Indeed I was offered, even voted in as leader of one group without my knowledge, but still declined.
Moving there is the only legal way I can run a group.
  But still, severe paranoia leads to these sorts of baseless comments from people who, in reality, do little for the hobby except the occasional train journey. NEWSFLASH: A hobby does not survive on that.
  The attacker has been very successful in removing my interest from the 'Database Project', a plan to collate tonnes of information on locomotives and rollingstock in the Philippines for donating to archives and museums in the Philippines and around the world.
  We were passionate about giving something important back to Philippine research but the aim was to destroy this and it was done very well. 
  I am not angry, I just feel so sorry for someone who's life has got so low that they must hurt others to try to feel some sort of self worth. Especially when they use the name of dead friends to convey their message.
  I'm even more saddened as it was a person I thought was a friend who needed to be treated as such, all the time while being white anted from behind.
  The Philippines is important.
The railway hobby is important.
Friendship is very important.
Three points to always remember when others are trying to feed to one sided hatred.
Back to normal programming.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Philippine Railway Historical Society
An Unofficially Recognised Passion

A Brief 15 year old Story Of A Group.

See how it has come to where we are today.

Friday, March 7, 2014


MANILA, Philippines —With its Charter set to expire in three months, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) will wind down its operations in three years unless Congress passes a bill extending its life, Senate Pro Tempore  Ralph  Recto said on  Friday.
Recto said PNR’s Charter, Republic Act 4126,  expires on June 20, 2014 “but the executive has not acted yet to seek its extension.”
“If its Charter is not extended, then it says there in RA 4126, that the PNR must  wind down its operations in three years, prepare for dissolution and dispose its properties,” he said in a statement.
“Once PNR’s charter expires, then the process of demobilization begins,” Recto said.

Section 16 of RA 4126, he said,  provides that PNR’s disposal of properties “shall not be for the purpose of continuing the business for which it was established.”
Recto said the dismantling of PNR would mean that “the real estate it owns which is valued in the billions of pesos can be the subject of a “bidding war by real estate companies.”
“If you recall, even the space above the tracks are worth billions of pesos in so-called air rights.  You can build a road above the tracks provided you buy that space from PNR. While it may be poor in rolling stock, PNR is  a Colossus  when it comes to land holdings,” he said.
The senator then urged the Palace to send to Congress a bill extending  PNR’s corporate life  “and use  its majority clout” in both houses to  pass it before Congress goes on recess in the second week of June.”
“We need to fast-track it. We cannot allow the dissolution train to leave the station. If there’s one bill that must be railroaded, then this is the one,” he said.
Recto, an administration ally, criticized what he described as “skewed  prioritization” of government, which could be seen, he said,  in the national budget where the annual subsidy of P344 million for the PNR, which carries 25 million passengers a year, is equivalent to the budget for a 17-kilometer road concreting project in one town in the Visayas.
The same “least priority’ treatment for PNR, he said, was also evident in  the Pasig River ferry service.
“There seems to be an official fixation with roads but an allergy to ferries and rail,”  he said.
Recto said the revival of the Pasig River ferry service has yet to receive official blessings despite its feasibility as an alternative mode of transportation in traffic-choked Metro Manila.
While commending  Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDDA) “bold and creative move” to unveil its version of the ferry recently, the senator said it needs more  than the trial runs of prototypes to get the ferry back in service.
“What is needed is an unequivocal policy statement, which would include funding commitments for the ferry’s revival and expansion. Even for so-called ‘signaling’ purposes, that would be enough in jumpstarting things,” he said.
The senator has been batting for the tapping of underutilized mass transport  systems, like the PNR and the mothballed Pasig River ferry as Metro Manila girds for traffic with the simultaneous implementation of 17 road projects.
Recto had earlier said that doubling the number of  PNR  trains plying the 44-kilometer Tutuban, Manila- Sta. Rosa Laguna line alone will allow it to ferry 25 million  more passengers a year.