Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Los Banos - Pagsanjan Branch

The Los Banos-Pagsanjan Branch of the Manila Railroad Company followed the original Spanish line to Albay as mandated in the Royal Decree of May 11, 1888. The Spanish government avoided passing through the towns of Sariaya and Candelaria which were heavily damaged during the collapse of the Mt. Banahaw crater in 1743 and opted to use a line along the pre-hispanic trail across the Sierra Madre mountains. Just like the Aringay-Baguio line or the Taytay-Antipolo line, the Manila Railroad Company abandoned this boondocks line and used a new route on the other side of Mt. Banahaw to Bicol.

The line was opened and put into operation in 1912.



The above photo is the College Station of the Philippine National Railways Main Line South.



A new cut-off line to San Pablo City was installed near the College Station. The area is popularly known as Los Banos Crossing or Junction.



The line to Pagsanjan passes through rivers and rice fields to Bay. The line in Bay is now called Daang Bakal.



At the back of the Bay Church and beside the Bay Municipal Hall, the bridge of this line is still being used as a pedestrian bridge.



The line runs alongside the Masapang Highway and crosses the highway near the end to Dayap. This highway was built in the late 1970s.



At the Banca-banca river, one can still see a portion of the pier. The bridge was damaged during World War II.



Another railway bridge converted into a pedestrian bridge at Manaol.



Along the "Magdalena Loop", one can still see parts of this proud branch still being used by the residents.



The railroad crosses the national highway at Pagsawitan, Santa Cruz, Laguna.



The remaining railroad embankment to Pagsanjan can be seen on the right side of the highway going to Pagsanhan in the middle of the rice fields.



The bridge piers along Balanac River in Pagsanjan. The Municipal Government should consider converting this remaining structure into a pedestrian bridge like the one in Bay.


To be continued...

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