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What it’s like using the prepare from Naga to Legazpi – Journey Up

What it’s like using the prepare from Naga to Legazpi – Journey Up

There’s one thing nostalgic and calming about railway journey that I get pleasure from every time I experience trains in different nations. From the distinctive horn asserting arrivals and departures, the rhythmic clickety-clack of the wheels, the swaying movement on the tracks, and the altering surroundings of rural landscapes, touring by prepare presents a special expertise from what I’m usually used to.

On a prepare, you don’t should take care of visitors on the street or the warmth and discomfort of different types of public transport. In contrast to vans which squeeze passengers in like sardines and confine you to 1 spot the entire time, you’ll be able to stretch your legs, stroll round, and discover completely different cabins on a prepare. Prepare journey could also be sluggish, however for those who’re not in a rush, it can be very enjoyable. You may simply sleep in consolation, get misplaced in a guide, or watch the surroundings roll by.

The final time I rode the PNR prepare within the nation was again in 2011 through the short-lived revival of the Bicol Categorical route from Manila to Naga. Whereas this long-haul route is at present suspended as a consequence of ongoing railway rehabilitation, it’s nonetheless attainable to go on shorter prepare rides from Naga, Camarines Sur to Sipocot and Legazpi, Albay on the Bicol Commuter regional rail service.

Throwback to 2011

I’ve been eager to experience the PNR prepare once more only for the expertise, so when a street journey round Albay and Sorsogon with Naga-based dad and mom got here up, I made a decision to incorporate the 100-kilometer route from Naga Metropolis to Legazpi Metropolis in Albay through the PNR prepare experience to kick off the journey.

Coming from Manila the evening earlier than, I took Isarog Strains Bus Okay (guide tickets on-line right here), which departed at Cubao at 8:30 pm and arrived at 5:15 am simply in time to catch the primary PNR prepare departing for Legazpi at 5:38 a.m. The timing was a bit tight, so if you wish to arrive earlier within the morning, you’ll be able to experience buses that depart at 6:30 or 7:30 pm simply to be secure. In case your bus is delayed, you might additionally catch the afternoon prepare to Legazpi and arrive within the night, although it could be too darkish to get a view of the surroundings. GoogleMaps is up to date with the PNR prepare schedule, and you may simply see what station you’re in with the GPS.

For locals who stay in Bicol, using the PNR prepare most likely feels as routine and peculiar as how metropolis folks really feel about using the MRT and LRT.  However there’s all the time one thing enjoyable about attempting a brand new route for the primary time. Using trains in Manila isn’t precisely scenic, whereas this specific prepare route passes by Albay, providing views of Mayon Volcano, the world’s most excellent cone.

I needed to rush a bit from the bus station to the prepare station however getting tickets was simple. The prepare ticket from Naga to Legazpi prices P155 per particular person, with reductions for seniors, PWDs and college students. 

Not a variety of passengers experience from finish to finish usually. There have been a variety of empty seats coming from the Naga terminal, although extra passengers acquired on at different prepare stations and flag stops. The cabins are all new and clear and the air-conditioning was fairly sturdy. Since I rode in a single day from Manila on a chilly bus, I used to be ready with a jacket and an inflatable neck pillow, which made the journey extra comfy. 

In contrast to the front-facing seats and sleeper cabins discovered within the previous Bicol Categorical, the seats listed here are all on the aspect, just like the LRT commuter trains. The experience from Naga to Legazpi takes roughly 3 hours, so passengers have loads of time to compensate for sleep on board. 

Top-of-the-line elements of prepare journey is attending to admire the surroundings. Sadly, some home windows of the prepare aren’t that clear as a result of the acute warmth has warped a number of the clear stickers and tint exterior overlaying the glass home windows making their floor look cracked, so that you won’t get the perfect views relying on the place you sit. 

I transferred to a seat close to the entrance of the prepare the place the home windows have been a bit clearer. You may spot Mayon Volcano when you attain cities of Albay like Ligao and Daraga. Whereas it’s laborious to take pictures on a shifting prepare, you’ll be able to nonetheless benefit from the view. PNR beforehand shared this view of the prepare from the driving force’s POV. 

In contrast to terminals with stations, flag stops are platforms alongside the tracks with steel stairs the place passengers can board or alight from the prepare simply. Should you experience from a flag cease, you’ll be able to pay the roving conductors for tickets.  

In the course of the experience, I ended up having a chat with one of many conductors and discovered that almost all passengers are day by day commuters who use the prepare for shorter legs, moderately than leisure vacationers after sightseeing in Albay. He stated they’d most likely get extra passengers if the prepare left earlier within the morning, in time for workers and college students to get to high school and work on time in Legazpi and Naga respectively (the trains arrive just a little earlier than 9:00 am on each ends). 

For leisure vacationers in search of a brand new solution to discover Bicol, it’s attainable to carry pets (so long as they’re sporting diapers) and folding bicycles aboard the prepare, in order that’s one thing which may curiosity bikers desirous to discover Albay sooner or later. Sadly, bikers can’t experience and convey full-sized bicycles contained in the prepare (except they’re dismantled, packed correctly, and handled as cargo with a separate price equal to 1 particular person). Hopefully, they’ll change this rule sooner or later.

Biking within the foothills of Mayon on a earlier journey

There was a slight delay within the Travesia station once I rode, which gave passengers an opportunity to make use of the restroom on the station. In contrast to the sleeper cabins of the previous, there’s no restroom on board the brand new trains, so ensure that to go earlier than or after your experience. You wouldn’t need to be caught at a random terminal because the prepare leaves.

The prepare rolled into the Legazpi Station on Penaranda Avenue at 8:56 am, about 14 minutes behind the anticipated time of arrival. Usually, the overall journey time ought to be round 3 hours and 4 minutes. 

The tip of the road in Albay is the enduring Legaspi Station, a pebbled artwork deco prepare station designed by Pablo Antonio Sr. (1901-1975), who’s thought to be the Father of Philippine Trendy Structure and the 1976 Nationwide Artist Awardee for Structure.

This station initially designed within the late Thirties is confronted with the Manila Railroad Firm’s signature stone masonry. Whereas the design feels very dated by trendy requirements, for those who’re a historical past buff, you’ll discover the classic look notable. I’m glad they preserved the unique heritage look as an alternative of constructing a contemporary station instead.

I seemed for a restaurant within the neighborhood to kill time, however most locations weren’t open but so I hailed a tricycle to SM Legazpi as an alternative for brunch and to regroup with household who drove a automotive from Naga.

In case you weren’t in a position to get a very good view of Mayon from the prepare, when you’re in Albay, you’ll be able to your fill from wherever within the metropolis from completely different vantage factors, together with the mall’s Meals Corridor on the third Flooring.

to strive using the Naga to Legazpi PNR route sooner or later? Try my full journey information with detailed schedules, fares, working timetable, FAQs, journey ideas and extra right here.