Heritage Conservation Society

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Manila-Dagupan Railroad

Posted by admin on July 27, 2006

Las Estaciones Ferrocarril Manila-Dagupan

by Manuél Máximo Nóche Lopez del Castíllo

Train travel has always been a major component in nation building. The Manila-Dagupan line of the Manila Railway Company Limited, precursor of the Philippine National Railways opened its first line in 1892. This quickly led to the efficient delivery and transport not only of goods and people but also information to the north via an efficient, reliable and fast (8 hours at that time) mode of transport the Philippines during the last decade of the 19th century has yet seen.
Along the rail route, numerous stations were built to house and accommodate passengers and Station Masters. These structures, most made of brick and wood, who shelter the official needs and functions of the assigned Station Master as well as commuters who would wait for their rides as well as onlookers who as part of their daily routine would flock to see the trains pass by. The station thus became a hub of the community, springing to life a multitude of activities from selling food to travelers as well as meeting place for travelers.

With the proposed revitalization and modernization of the North Line, a plan has been put forward to demolish the old stations and replaced with new ones. This wanton destruction will remove from history the vestiges of these stations leaving the people no trace of the rich architectural past the railways had on Philippine History. It is the purpose of this study to document and study the Spanish built stations along the North Line. To secure, document and if might be preserving the rich architecture these stations had for future generations of travelers to come.

Growth needs progress, and progress sometimes leads to the removal of the old in place of the new. The government in its desire to revitalize the North Line of the Philippine National Railroad has now seriously undertaken the task of rebuilding the destroyed North Line. Part of the modernization program of the government is the revitalization, and upgrading of the rail link between Manila-Clark, which forms part of the First Phase, and eventually the whole line to Dagupan City. In line with this redevelopment is the replacement of all the old terminals with new ones.

With the impending revitalization and thus modernization of the Manila-Dagupan Line, the need to chart and document the remaining Spanish Built Train Stations along the line is integral. The management of the Philippine National Railroad as yet has not signified their intentions of retaining these structures prompting some local government particularly those of San Fernando in Pampanga to declare these stations as historic. But unfortunately not all-local officials are enlightened. With time fast ticking by and with the proposed revitalization not only a dream but also now a reality. The demolition of these stations is fast becoming a reality as well.


Meycauayan Station

Bocaue Station

Bigaa Station

Malolos Station

Calumpit Station


Apalit Station

Sto. Tomas Station

San Fernando Station (NHI-declared historical site)

Angeles Station

Mabalacat Station


Bamban Station

Capas Station

Tarlac Station

Paniqui Station

Gerona Station

Moncada Station


Bayambang Station (demolished)

San Carlos Station

Malasiqui Station

Calasiao Station

Dagupan Station


22 Responses to “Manila-Dagupan Railroad”

  1. Robby said

    i was walking past along mc arthur highway in meycauayan and i noticed this brick-and wood bahay na bato, i didnt know that this stucture was once a train station. its nice to see that meycauayan still have this piece of architectural heritage but looking at its present condition, these stuctures needs to be aided.

  2. harv said

    The station in Guiguinto Bulacan is still standing also and the date of 1888 can still be seen on the side. Part of the roof has been repaired and is housing security.

  3. sheila said

    i love that granite!

  4. Vic Nierva said

    Being from Bikol region (Southernmost part of Luzon), I grew up along the railroad tracks of Lupi, Camarines Sur. I feel sad about the demise of our own railroad industry which is mainly because of government’s neglect. All the more it is saddening to witness how these structures, even their respective remains, are left to rot and vanish gradually without even recognizing their contribution to the growth of the Luzon island. I am looking for people to help me do a research which eventually might lead concerned gov’t agencies to preserve even just the structures of these abandoned stations.

  5. emjay said

    I grew up in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga and I have been familiar with the train tracks running along our town but I did not know that there was a train station in Sto. Tomas. I hope to visit it someday. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

  6. harv said

    WE are please to announce the official organization of Railroads and Industrial Heritage Society of the Philippines
    and Jaime Tiongson as president. RIHSPI. Please contact me for further information. HSmoller@yahoo.com Our first project will be declaring Paco station as a historical monument and getting interest from US and Japanese as well as Filipino Veterans groups and other interested individuals to restore the station back to its former glory.
    We are happy to report that the original stations at Buendia and Vito Cruz have been retained and restored to their former glory thanks to the Korean contractors.

    • Cerilyn Pastolero said


      Ive noticed some of the entries here are already a bit old. May I know whether your historical society is still active? If yes what work or projects are you currently engaged in? Any plans on the Manila Dagupan Railway line? Im part of a research team thats writing a coffeetable book on the 3rd District of Pangasinan, and weve found out the role of these train stations in history


  7. Kenneth said

    i always pass by the dagupan station,but it already and completely abandoned. grass and ipil-ipil tress had grown, covering the whole building.

  8. John said

    I was born in Apalit Pampanga (Sampaga – where the old train station is located). My memories of the train station when the PNR was still in operation are so vivid I can still smell the tar from the tracks. I remember an accident in the early 70’s when a wooden bus (La Mallorca/Pambusco) was hit by a train along the RR crossing. Bodies, some decapitated, were scattered along the tracks.
    My father would show me bullets imbedded on the walls of the old building (remnants from WW2 dog fights). I’m saddened to see the conditions of these stations. These buildings are historical points and should be restored or at least protected. I found a late 1800’s photo of one of these stations but couldn’t figure out which location. Looking at the pics closely, I relaized it was the Malolos station.

  9. claudia said

    excuse me , I need know the numer of social segurity of Genaro Robles Muro, because he worked in Manila ferrocarril

  10. […] magnificent buildings, extraordinary examples of 20th-century architecture. Sadly, most of these architectural monuments are gone if not in disrepair. However, there is still hope for at least one – the Pacò Station […]

  11. Davo said

    Photos from two trips to portions of the northern line in 2009…


    Hopefully will be of some interest to you there

  12. charlie jirch said

    . . . . where is the marilao, valenzuela and dau stations and what railroad station is next after dagupan goin north . . . i used to dream of drving the train and on that childs dream , I become a mechanical engineer by profession. now working in saudi arabia.

  13. Norland said

    I grew up in Rosales Pangasinan, we used to swim at this dike and along the dike is a rail road. I used to hear stories from my uncle and aunts how they used to ride the trains to go to Manila or just to neighboring towns to sell some stuff. I guess two of my uncle used to go to Capas to sell bark of trees which they use as a dye for leathers. Sana magkaroon ulit ng train from Manila-Ilocos hitting major cities along the way maybe a connection that goes to the Dagupan. A bullet train would be really nice.

  14. Edward Patio said

    Why there is no Dau Station present in those picture

    • Muning said

      I think because Dau was not originally part of the Manila-Dagupan Railway, it was only erected when branchlines to Fort Stotsenburg and Magalang, Pampanga were built.

  15. Edward Patio said

    Please show us the picture of the Nueva Ecija Rain Stations

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  17. john said

    The Station in Bocaue is totally demolished, the station in Bayambang is still standing (its someones store but a complete structure),
    Calasiao is a barangay hall(still a complete structure), Guiguinto only half is still standing (the other half wont last long), Moncada there is only a piece of one wall sandwiched between a new house and a wall, Bamban is surrounded by houses on all sides (chicken coop), Mabalacat is a house (still a complete structure), Bigaa is house to Security Guards (still a complete structure), Gerona will self destroy any day (chicken coop), Paniqui is in fair shape (80% complete), Calumpit is in fair shape (80% complete, Car wash now), Bautista is demolished (cock fighting arena), San Carlos is in fair shape (80% complete), Mololos is in fair shape (office of PNR and 80% complete), Meycauyan is still complete (65% complete), and the station in Marilao is completely demolished. Seems to me the people are doing the Historical society a favor by occupying these structures in that they are keeping them in tact by not letting them decay and be demolished.

  18. http://kenyotravel.weebly.com/blog/the-meycauayan-old-train-station

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