PNR starts train runs from Naga to Legazpi
LEGAZPI CITY—Traveling to this capital from Naga City in Camarines Sur province? Take the train.
The Philippine National Railways (PNR) opened its commuter train service between the two premier cities of Bicol on Friday in a ceremony at its Naga station, with Camarines Sur Rep. Leni G.
Robredo as guest of honor.
For a P100 fare, a commuter can ride in the train, which will leave Naga at 5 a.m. for Legazpi and return at 5 p.m. The initial single round trip is daily, from Monday to Friday.
Travel time is about two and a half hours, with regular stops at PNR stations in Iriga City in Camarines Sur and in Polangui, Ligao City, Guinobatan and Daraga in Albay.
The train’s two newly refurbished air-conditioned coaches can accommodate up to 300 passengers per trip, said Jose M. Florece, PNR division manager. He said the agency would still assess the number of riders before scheduling more trips.
Florece said the train service would primarily benefit those from Naga and nearby areas who want to transact business in Legazpi, the hub of regional government offices.
Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, chair of the Regional Development Council, said he had been closely working with the Department of Transportation and Communications for the resumption of train trips in Bicol. The service was suspended in late 2006 after
Supertyphoon “Reming” (international name: Durian) brought severe damage to several sections of the railway.
Salceda said the return of train service would boost trade, tourism and even travel as commuters would have another option for a trip apart from a bus or van.
Moreover, a train ride offers a different and distinctive perspective of the countryside as passengers would enjoy viewing Mayon Volcano surrounded by the greenery of farmlands, he said.
The inaugural train run started around 1 p.m. at the Naga station.
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