December 2, 2013

My First PNR Train Ride Experience

Don't get me wrong, I grew up in Manila and commuting is part of my daily life. Taxi cabs have been my favorite. Imagine having different drivers everyday. Don't blame me. I live 16 km away from my place of work, and commuting after a stressful shift is suicide. My commutes on a cab is where I usually check my personal inbox, RSVP to invites, check news, sometimes blog, or mostly, sleep - which I do not recommend. I am always lucky to get the best drivers.

My good friend once told me, you can save your money that you use to take cabs in a year and you can go on an awesome trip abroad. (S)he is right. The very reason I take the more comfortable commute is that I cannot pay for the hours of rest and comfort. Anyway, last Saturday, together with another blogger, we tried taking the PNR train on our way home from Makati.

The PNR Train started the operation in 1982. After so many decades, it was neglected, and just became a landmark in Tutuban, Manila. It resumed its operation in 2009, and can be a good transport alternative when traveling from Manila to Alabang. 

Click Read More to know more about PNR ride..

We hopped on in Buendia station, and bought Php10 ticket (to Manila). During our conversation with other passengers, we found out that ticket price varies. I thought it is the same like in Beijing that you pay fix price everywhere you go.  

You can see the PNR Train ticket matrix and prices/fare here. 


For those who hate to walk up LRT staircases, you will love the PNR train stations. The platform is simple and open. 

If you got used to stations like EDSA, Taft, Recto, Guadalupe, Ayala.. get familiarized with these PNR train stations. 

TutubanMayhaligue St., across Tutuban Centermall
BlumentrittCorner  Rizal Ave. near LRT Blummentritt Station
Dapitan/ Laon LaanIn between Dapitan, Laong Laan, Algeciras and Antipolo Streets
EspanaBetween Antipolo and Algeciras Streets,  along España boulevard
Sta. MesaNear Ramon Magsaysay Blvd, Sta Mesa, near PUP Main campus
PandacanAlong Padre Zamora ( formerly Tomas Claudio)  St. corner Beata, Pandacan
PacoQuirino Ave near Plaza Dilao
San AndresLocated at the intersecton of Ariadores St., San Andres St.,  and Osmeña highway in San Andres, manila
Vito CruzCorner of Pablo Ocampo Extension and Osmeña Highway, San Andres manila
BuendiaCorner of Gil Puyat(Buendia) and Osmeña Highway
Pasay Road In between  Estacion Street and Osmeña Highway in Makati, near Waltermart Makati.
EdsaLocated at the intersection of South Luzon Expressway and EDSA bellow the Magallanes Interchange, Makati City
NicholsEast Service Road of South Luzon Expressway in Taguig, in front of Nichol’s Interchange
FTIEast Service Road of South Luzon Expressway in Taguig, near C-5 ramp
BicutanGeneral Santos Aveñue in Paranaque, near SM Bicutan
SucatAlong Meralco Road, Muntinlupa City
AlabangAlong T. Molina Street in Alabang, Muntinlupa, back of Starmall

Train Schedule

Unlike the MRT and LRT trains that come and go on different timeslots, PNR train follow a schedule (which is good). You can check the PNR train schedule here

If you missed the train, you have to wait for 30 minutes to get on the next. 

Inside the PNR Train

It was a Saturday and less crowded when we took the train. Some passengers who were sitting in front of us shared that it can go crazy on weekdays especially Mondays. I can imagine. 

It looks like your typical train (old and rustic?), 
but it has overhead compartments for luggage and bags

Seats are cushioned and I pray that they clean 
and maintain it.

The PNR Train Ride

It was like any other train commute that I have taken, except that you get to see more of Manila. Its ugly places. We passed by the area in Sta Mesa and saw people who just built tents as house. It is unpleasant, but more of a sad sight. 

These must be the people who they suspect throw stones to the train. You must have heard this. I remember that government once did relocation of informal settlers along railways. Well, the train has a solid railings in the window that would prevent glass breakage even if people outside attempt to throw stones and garbage. I hope they do not.

On a lighter note, I felt happy when after boarding the train, someone (a woman!) offered her seat to an old lady. I love simple random act of kindness. It is contagious. Spread it. 

The travel time only took less than 30 minutes from Buendia to Tutuban. I feel like a new woman when I stepped out of the train. I conquered my fear. I hate riding trains crowded places and I have fear of crossing railways (seriously!). 

I know this would not be the last time I would ride the train, who wants to go with me? 

My Tips!

  • Before you hop on and get crazy with selfies.. I want to share some tips:
  • This is not a train that would take you to Disneyland. Take care of your belongings.
  • Be vigilant. It is nice to be friendly but always check for suspicious looking people. 
  • Follow the rules. Show them we are good citizen of the country. 
  • More tips and do's and dont's here

I saw some peeps waiting and sitting down on the platform. Please, I personally do not recommend this. The security is pretty lenient about it - they say, simply because there are no available seats in the station. 

Pawang professional lamang.. ;)

Have you tried riding the PNR Train? 
How's your experience?

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