The Philippine National Railways (PNR) will resume its Manila-Bicol operations on December 15 after the final inspection by transport authorities next week to ensure the train’s safety and reliability.

It is expected to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila during holiday seasons when it is expected that thousands of commuters would go back to their home provinces.


Assistant Transportation Secretary for Rails Cesar Chavez and other PNR officials had already conducted two inspections. A final one would be made to ensure its safety and reliability. The PNR halted operations of its Manila-Naga route four years ago after the derailing of one of its trains in Quezon province. This was due to the disrepair of typhoon-damaged bridges.

Chaves stated that the target date for resumption of operations was Dec. 15, but the PNR was still working on getting a log ban exemption from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. If approved, they would be permitted to use “yakal” hardwood as rail ties for the Ragay and Del Gallego bridges. If disapproved, trains would only be able to run from 40 kph to 10 kph when crossing bridges.


The PNR has a fleet of six trains for the Bicol route. The agency will use a 300-seater train and the 83-seater Kogane tourist train that charges at least 500 per passenger.