5 Jul 2011

To Manila From Naga On-Board Sleeper PNR Bicol Express

  • 5 Jul 2011
  • Lagalag

  • In my article dated July 3, 2011, entitled "To Naga On-Board PNR Bicol Express Train" I've shared to you how I traveled from Tutuban to Naga for the very first time coincided with the second trip of the newly rehabilitated PNR Bicol Express Train to the cultural and religious capital of the Bicol Region.

    Through that post, you've gotten to know the fact as far as the travel time of the famous locomotive train is concerned. The second voyage from Manila to Naga from which I was one of the passengers in Recliner Aircon, the newly refurbished locomotive train took more that 12 hours to reach Naga City Station. The trip was hampered by non-synchronization with other trains using the same track and a minor incident somewhere in Sta Rosa. For those who did't read it yet, kindly go to "To Naga On-Board PNR Bicol Express Train".

    Now, I'm back in Manila. Guess what? The train left Naga City at 6:23 pm of July 4, 2011. It arrived in Tutuban Station at 7:10 am of July 5, 2011. Yes, this time Bicol Express Train traveled 13 hours from Naga Station to Tutuban Station. 12 hours and 47 minutes to be exact.

    Slippery Rail syndrome apparently caused much of the delay according to some of the PNR officers on-board. This problem is known to have caused same problem in other countries years ago. And with the current situation and trend of the way PNR renders service, it will stay for quite a long time here in our country. So, don't believe it when they say in the press that Bicol Express Train reaches Naga from Manila in 10 hours. Take it from me as I've ridden their route from Manila to Naga and vice versa.

    Okay, let's try to be more constructive here. PNR is doing their best to serve commuters. They haven't announced in media how their second trip to Bicol and the one to Manila from Bicol got along. Maybe, they'll do in the coming days. For the meantime, let's just make some adjustment on our itinerary in Naga City, if we're traveling by train, that is.

    The only good thing that happened to me during my trip back to Manila on-board Bicol Express Train was that I got to sleep well. For some reason, the shaky movement of the coach induced sleep. The bed was comfortable, the curtains that served as my enclosure also protected me from the extreme cold of the air-conditioning system. One thing to remember if you're riding Bicol Express Train is to never forget to take your jacket. Especially if you choose Recliner Aircon coach. Believe me it's freezing cold in there. That's why I haven't enjoyed my trip from Manila to Naga, but I needed to do it (chose recliner) for me to keep awake so that I could record each time the train stopped.

    The other plus factor of sleeper coach is the small tray table that you could use of to enjoy your meal. You know, I've eaten a lot during those trips. Eating on the train made rice and chicken more delectable for me. I've taken a lot of provisions on board the train.

    Because I gave in to sleepiness, I was deeply asleep during the whole night, occasionally waking up to go to the men's room. I only woke up completely when it's already dawn.

    And now, for your reference, here's how the train got along during the last part of the journey. The train stopped in Alabang Station at 5:43 am, it continued at 5:50 am. Momentarily, I heard a loud voice said "Next stop - Pasay Road". That meant the train would stop only in Pasay Road Station. As it is, we've stopped again in FTI at 6:06 am. The train moved again at 6:16 am. The train stopped at Pasay Road at 6:23 am, and after a long wait, it moved again at 6:37 am. I heard again a loud voice yelled "Next station - Espana". But before we got to Espana, the train needed to stop in Pandacan at 6:47 am, we left immediately at 6:48 am. The train, then, stopped in Espana Station at 6:54 am. At 7:01 am, the train went on. Last stop before Tutuban was Blumentritt Station where we stopped for one minute at 7:04 am. Finally, we arrived in Tutuban Station at 7:10 am.

    That's how I got back to Manila from Naga City riding the Bicol Express Train. There's much more to tell about my trip to the "Heart of Bicol". Stay tuned.

    Ops! I almost forgot. The "Sleeper Coach" of Bicol Express Train is smelly. I had to spray some perfume all over my "moving tent" to get rid of the nasty smell. Also, expect some mosquitoes flying around the train. Just drive them away. Other than that, Sleeper Coach is excellent for a well rested long distance travel.

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