Ferrocarril de Manila

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Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan was one of the most innovative infrastructures in the Philippines in the 1900s

Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan was the first railway system in the Philippines and among the modern infrastructures introduced to the country during the Spanish colonial period.


By virtue of a royal decree by King Alfonso XII of Spain dated 25 June 1875, the Inspector of Public Works of the Philippine Islands was required to formulate and submit a plan for the construction of a railroad line in Luzon. Five months later, the head of the Public Works Office, Don Eduardo Lopez Navarro, submitted a plan bearing the title Memoria Sobre el Plan General de Ferrocarilles en la Isla de Luzon. By 1 June 1887, Don Eduardo Sykes of the Ferrocaril de Manila-Dagupan (later, Manila Railway Company Ltd. of London) was awarded the concession for the construction of railway system. The engineering of the infrastructure began on 31 June 1887 until 24 November 1892, when finally it was publicly opened.


The railway measured 195 kilometers from Manila to Dagupan, Pangasinan. By the 1940s, the railway was extended to reach the provinces of Legaspi, Albay and San Fernando, La Union.

After the war

Considerable damages afflicted the ferrocarril during World War II, and the United States Army, which then had temporary control over the Manila Railway Company, was able to restore 40% of the railway's original condition by 1945. By virtue of Republic Act No. 4156 passed on 20 June 1946, the company was renamed to what is known today as the Philippine National Railway.

See also




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