Guide to using PNR (Trains in Manila) in the Philippines

If you are needing to get around Metro Manila from the old Manila area out to the Las Pina (Alabang) past the airport, using the PNR (train system) in the Philippines is an option for you. Philippine National Railroad has been gutted but it still does run one route every hour until really late.

Back in its heyday, the PNR would run from La Union in the north to the Bicol region. Little by little, it was gutted until it didn’t even exist for a while. At some point, they revived it and just use it for commuters. Despite what some people in the political field say, it is unlikely that the railroad in the Philippines will ever be restored.

The good news about using the trains in the Philippines is that they whole trip is about 50 cents. In most cases, it closer to a quarter to go anywhere you need to go. That is one good thing about the Philippines, most travel is somewhere cheap.

How to use the PNR in the Philippines

I am not a fan of the terminal that they have in Tondo, mainly because of how rough the neighbor is. I do not recommend that single women use the train early in the morning or late at night if going to the main terminal.

All you do is walk up to the counter and tell the person where you are going and look at the price list that should be posted. The prices range between about 18 cents and up to 50 cents. (Paid in Philippine Pesos of course)

When the train comes, you get on any car from the first few (unless you are a woman) and be prepared because they are very crowded most of the time. It will be standing room only.

When you get where you are going, you get off and there is normally a guy checking your ticket at the exit. If there is not, you just walk out of the terminal and head wherever your next thing to do is.

Maps of stations ran by Philippine National Railroad

Bicol Express and Clark Express?

There is talks about restoring a non-stop train to Naga in the Bicol region. I do not think it will really happen but the discussion is always there and you never know what could become of this. It is something to watch out for, I guess.

There is also a lot of talk right now about starting a train service from Manila to Clark in the north so they can reduce the traffic at Manila International Airport. Again, this is just talk at this point but they are saying they can have a train service running by 2021 so you never know what will happen with that.

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