My First PNR Ride
It was my dream, and my friend’s, to ride one of the coaches of the Philippine National Railways (PNR). This train route is reputable for its ancient way of travelling (but I say they have upgraded their facilities and the line is rather cozy and comfortable). For me, riding the PNR is really different from the more modern locomotives like MRT-3 and LRT-1 and 2. PNR is more on the classic (not classy, though) side. Quiant and romantic perhaps.
I only experienced the southern half of the line–Pasay Road to Alabang route (but I alighted on the Sucat station, just before Alabang).
Once, the the sides of the PNR railways were populated with informal settlers. Thus, unpleasant occurrences happened to the passengers inside the coaches like being strewn with trash.
But my short travel was not at all like the old ways. It was rather pleasant and evocative of the past.
By the way, my friend who once wished to ride the PNR is now in Denmark. She is now in a much better location in real and astounding European terrain. But I think she still wants to ride the PNR once she goes back.
The fare is cheaper. I only paid 10 pesos for a 20-kilometre (I suppose) travel.
The ticketing service is a bit old-fashioned–with women waiting at a desk on the platform, cutting away paper tickets and signing them. And before you get out of station of arrival, you are to give to the ticket to the guard-on-duty amidst the flux of people eager to go home.
Watch a video of one PNR train stopping by a station to pick up and unload passengers.
And here is another video of me alighting the coach at the Sucat station.