PNR San Pablo – Lucena Route re-opening soon

Published February 15, 2022, 2:01 PM

by Emmie V. Abadilla


The Philippine National Railways (PNR) will re-open its San Pablo-Lucena section, which links to the Bicol network, in three months, unlocking the economic potential of Southern Luzon.

Aside from being a passenger commuter service, the PNR Lucena-San Pablo route can also be converted into a commercial or cargo freight service, said Department of Transportation ( DOTr) Secretary Art Tugade during his Monday (Feb. 14, 2022) on-site inspection.

“This San Pablo-Candelaria-Lucena, route that we are opening will be connected to the “Bicol Express” network,” he explained.

“It will be a vital commuter and commercial line for Laguna and Quezon in the immediate term,” Tugade pointed out.

Stalled for almost a decade, the PNR San Pablo-Lucena route is a 44-kilometer inter-provincial commuter railway which was part of the commuter train service to Bicol with stations and flag stops for daily commuters or short travels.

The PNR Lucena-San Pablo commuter line ceased operation in October 2013, after the collapse of an abutment.

When operations resume before May, 2022, the line will have two terminal stations and four flag stops in between, with travel time of 1 hour and 32 minutes from Lucena, Quezon to San Pablo, Laguna.

Parts of the long-distance rail network’s right-of-way will also be used for PNR’s South Long Haul Project, the “Bicol Express”.

The PNR San Pablo-Lucena line will open the economic corridors of Laguna, Quezon, and Bicol to ensure economic equity and progress in Southern Luzon, PNR General Manager Junn Magno underscored.

Furthermore, the route will aid in various aspects of socio-economic development, such as San Pablo City’s economic stability, mobility and connectivity as well as the relocation of informal settlers, San Pablo City, Laguna Urban Development and Housing Officer Emilio Tirones elaborated.

In 2012, the rail line operated once every two days. But now, “The Lucena-San Pablo loop will operate 10 trips per day, connecting every town. We can transport our products inter-province, to Manila,” according to Tirones.

“We can even fix our informal settlers problem because we can now relocate them,” he pointed out.