This post was last updated on October 6, 2022. For the latest news, please refer to the PNR Website.
The Philippine National Railway (PNR) is one of the most underrated modes of public transportation in Metro Manila. Believe it or not, it’s one of the best public transport systems in terms of customer service and efficiency, although of course, their trains can be late sometimes. I mean often. But their customer service is admirable.
We’re lucky to have one of Asia’s oldest railway systems. If you’re planning to ride this line as part of your daily commute, here’s a handy guide that will help you get to your destination.
- The PNR regularly posts updates and changes/ delays in the schedule on the Official PNR Facebook Page. Please check their Facebook page on the day of your trip.
- As of October 2022, no trains stop at Pacita Station and Golden City Station.
PNR Route Map
The entire PNR stretches from central to southern Luzon.
As of October 2022, a new line has been added: the Calamba – Lucena – Calamba line, which will cover routes within the provinces of Laguna and Quezon.
- The morning trip leaves at 4:50 AM, while the last trip will be at 6:30 PM.
- Running time:
- Lucena to Calamba: 2 hours and 33 minutes with a minimum fare of P15
- Lucena to San Pablo: 1 hour and 32 minutes with a minimum fare of P20
Aside from the main stations at Lucena, San Pablo, and Calamba, the reopened line will provide nine makeshift flag stops at the following stations:
- Los Baños
- College (Mayondon)
- Tiaong (Lalig)
As of writing, the Manila-Bicol services are still suspended and there is still no word when the Bicol Express will resume its operations.
Originally slated in December 2016, the resumption of these services was canceled following an inspection back in 2018, in which PNR officials discovered rotting train tracks and informal settlers obstructing the railroad in the provinces of Laguna and Bicol.
At present, there are three PNR lines operating in Luzon according to their website.
Below are the most updated timetables I was able to find on their Facebook page, including the Bluementritt PNR schedule:
Can’t read timetables? Here’s a version that’s easier to read. If you have any questions, reach out to them on their Facebook page. This is also where you’ll most likely find the schedule for the PNR’s last trip schedules.
PNR Fare Matrix
Use this guide to find out how much a train ticket costs. Note that this is only for the Metro South Commuter train line, which traverses the cities of Manila, Makati, Pasay, Taguig, Parañaque, and Muntinlupa.
(I know this can be confusing to read, so for easy reference, jump to the PNR Fares and Tickets page.)
Note: Don’t throw out your ticket while inside the train! Passengers caught without tickets or short ticketed will be charged the farthest distance fare Manila-Alabang Php 30/ Manila-Calamba Php 60.
How to Ride the PNR
The PNR website outlined the steps to riding the PNR as follows:
Step 1: Buy your ticket from the Ticket Booth.
Step 2: Show your ticket to the gate inspector/conductor.
Step 3: Ride the train. The first coach is reserved for the elderly, PWDs, pregnant women, and passengers with children, while the second coach is only for females.
The estimated travel time from Tutuban to Calamba is 2 hours, while the Naga to Sipocot route in Bicol takes 45 minutes.
Step 4: Exit the train and show your ticket to the inspector at the train station.
Again, always keep your ticket with you while you’re on the train and at the train station. Before you can leave the station, an inspector will ask for your ticket. If you cannot show a ticket, you will be asked to pay the amount of the fare for the whole route.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do they allow bikes on the train?
As far as I know, folding bikes are allowed inside the PNR train car, but you will be charged a fare equivalent to one person. I haven’t tried this yet, though.
How should I behave inside the train and other PNR premises?
The following are prohibited according to their website:
- Eating, drinking, smoking
- Being drunk or under the influence of drugs
- Bearing firearms or any pointed objects
- Balloons, balls, or firecrackers of any kind
- Paint, thinner, varnish, and similar chemicals
- Bottled wine, patis (fish sauce), and similar articles, unless properly packed or wrapped
- Smelly food like fresh meat, fish, bagoong, and daing unless properly packed or wrapped
- Bicycles (I assume non-foldies), skateboards, and other similar objects that may harm other passengers
- Playing the radio or musical instruments
- Live animals
- Big luggage exceeding 12″x18″x18″ in volume
Any other tips?
Be early. As in super early. And have a backup plan in case the waiting time gets too long.