0 [Dagupan] Century-Old PNR Train (Remnant): a Link to World War 2

"...it could remind us the bad past but it would be better if we treat this historical remnant as a reminder to acknowledge the great, good things of history."

Writing this post made me realize how useful Google is. I tried to find some reliable-looking websites to dig the history of this old PNR train that survived the war now standing alone near the Dagupan City Plaza. I read some historical accounts based on factual events and evidences and they blew my mind away. Nice learning. Dagupan is such a delight; but I'm not going to summarize the history here. It is so rich and beautiful that I don't feel worthy to rewrite it.

Old Dagupan PNR Train

[DAGUPAN] remnant of the old Manila-Dagupan train system


I never became wrong when I claimed myself that the small details of a place are the most surprising. If you're visiting Dagupan for the popular bangus or a PBB audition in CSI Stadia, you'll likely be missing the best surprises this city could offer. For the small details, usually the things you are not expecting to see are actually the priceless treasures hiding from the glaring light of the mainstream.

And in light of that, for a person who has no in-depth knowledge of the history of the city, who would think that there is a historical treasure in this city in the form of a train? Yes, a railway used to connect Manila and Dagupan. On June 1, 1887, a concession for the construction of a railway line from Manila to Dagupan was granted to Don Edmundo Sykes of the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan. This train was also used during the World War II.

Old PNR Train, Dagupan

[DAGUPAN] Last remaining piece of history

Old PNR Train Dagupan

[DAGUPAN] Rain, rain go away. But this train, train stays.

Old PNR Train, Dagupan

[DAGUPAN] the old train in front of the Dagupan Museum


On how this train was used during World War II and on how this last remaining piece survived the war up to its status today are mysteriously interesting things I would never attempt to know. What are written on the surface of historical documents in relation to this train are very limited. Specific events, people and things are not always captured or saved by historical database. Knowing all the specific details would be almost impossible. There are just things that history does not want to tell to the future.

This train was a helpful machinery in executing violence during the Philippine-American War. The same transported soldiers and their ammunition that could remind us of the tragic past. Yes, it could remind us the bad past but it would be better if we treat this historical remnant as a reminder to acknowledge the great, good things of history. Ignore the sad parts.

It would be best if we recognize this thing as source of inspiration and good vibes to remind us how lucky we are today that we are living a life without the violence of World War II. If this train could speak, it would tell us how many lives were sacrificed in the war. But aside from the war, there are way more happy things that this train might have witnessed not written in history. I tell it again, "past is past," but it would be great if we draw inspiration from the good things of the past to shape a blissful future. /end

For the history of the Ferrocarril de Manila-Dagupan, check this helpful link: http://www.pnr.gov.ph/history.htm
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