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Tracing tracks 2

October 2011
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Following are a few more photos from a trip to Naga City back in 2009. These photos take off from a previous posting where I featured the tracks of the PNR’s Main Line South, mainly what a traveler may see along the national highway en route to Naga City. Many of these tracks were not being used by any trains at the time due to a suspension of services after an incident a few years back when a Bicol Express train was derailed somewhere in Quezon. Most of the tracks one will see here have already been rehabilitated as the PNR has resumed the service between Manila and Naga City. In fact, they have taken advantage of the long weekend for All Saints’ Day (Undas) to promote the Bicol Express service that now features sleeping cars. The approximate travel time between Manila and Naga is 12 hours.

A railway bridge in Naga City – note the classic steel truss design that was the mainstay of most PNR bridges.

Another steel truss bridge – this one I photographed prior to the provincial boundary with Quezon province.

Rail junction along the national highway – this junction is located in the town of Gumaca. The signs are already obscured by tree branches and electric poles. At the time, one could see the state of neglect for the tracks as they are practically covered by dirt that transforms into mud during rainy days.

The railway tracks parallel to a barangay road – many sections again appear to be covered by dirt and growth. A tricycle is parked atop the tracks, probably waiting for passengers on space that is being used as a shoulder with respect to the local road. As communities have access to local roads, there are no trolleys here.

Neglected railway tracks – note the grass growing along the tracks and covering the rails. Also, from the looks of it some ties seem to be missing or just buried in the dirt. Many houses and shanties are obviously within the 30m ROW of the PNR. Such situations create a high risk for untoward incidents should rail services become regular and more frequent.


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