Bicol Express – Bridge heavily damaged

Bicol Express -PNR-2016-03-07

The famous Bicol Express is now interrupted in two spots. After a landslide heavily damaged the tracks in Quezon late 2012, a flashflood heavily damaged a bridge near Ragay, Camarines Sur.

A section of the railway steel bridge in Ragay connecting Barangay Cale and Apad in this railroad town collapsed Saturday at about five o’clock early morning. According to reports, the collapse was sudden that the steel railways had twisted when the railway steel bridge went crashing down.

Before the collapse Saturday, March 5, 2016
Bicol Express Ragay Bridge Ragay-Bridge2
 Photo courtesy of  Photo courtesy of Manila Bulletin

This is the “route” where people take riding for school or market on a “railway skate”, the mode of transportation among rural folks in Ragay living on farmlands near areas along the Philippine National Railway (PNR) railroad that span from Manila to Naga City, Camarines Sur to Albay Province.

Reports said the steel bridge section collapsed after weeklong heavy rainfall, causing flashflood in the river below the bridge span, had washed out a bridge support foundation that caused the steel structure crashing down. PNR trains had stopped running for a long time now, but if there are, only two trips on a daily basis, one outgoing to Manila, and the other Bicol bound from Manila. The rest of the day, the “skates” take over.

Railway Skate (Poor man’s Bicol Express)

Railskate Railskate

Photos courtesy of Tanks Peter for the excellent pictures.

Latest report said the PNR had already inspected the wreck and will start repair work once the materiel for the construction are brought into the site. The construction work will take about 6 months. Meantime, “skate commuters” will transfer to the other end to get another skate ride, but they must go down and cross the river and climb up the other side to catch up the connecting final trip.

The original article had been published by Bicol Today.


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