Horror Train

FEU Advocate
July 24, 2016 23:00

By Rhod Jessie S. Barrera
Associate Editor (2016-2017)

Want to ride the famous horror train in the Philippines? No need to pay for hundreds because this cheap amusement is for you, where people are thrilled to get in and where horror is real.

“Stop. Look. Listen.” For us to be prevented from possible danger, these are the words we constantly see while passing by the railroads. For now, forget about these safety guidelines as you are about to ride an unsafe trip.

The last time I rode the Light Rail Transit (LRT), the train stopped at Betty Go-Belmonte station and due to technical problems our trip was delayed for five to ten minutes. I remembered the words that came into my mind while wiping my sweat during that moment, “What the f*ck! Wala na ngang aircon tapos mala-late pa ako dahil sa train na ’to”.

Instead of blaming myself for waking up late, I accused the innocent train driver and the malfunctioned train out of my irresponsible action. On that day, I thought it was the worst scenario that may ever happen inside the train.

But my worst encounter inside the LRT is not the worst at all.

Few months before the arrival of ber-months, there are too many haunted stories I’ve read regarding their spooky encounters while riding the Philippine National Railways (PNR). It made me realize that the complaints of the LRT and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) passengers are no match to the everyday nightmares of PNR commuters.

Allow me to frighten you as I tour your soul in creepy situations in PNR.

Last July 21, a picture of a man who lied on the handrails of the train went viral in social networking sites. I salute him for being brave and for surviving the #PNRChallenge but it doesn’t mean I am impressed with this act.

I am not against with this action, as long as he is not harming others he can do more tricks as he wants. However, he must consider the safety of others and also himself. This may also trigger other commuters to do the same thing that he did. The man is brilliant but more of him was stupid.

He who looked like levitating himself showed us that we can do anything just to survive. But upon thinking this way to get away from a tight situation, is this really an act of survival or an act of suicide? And what if the train had its sudden braking, he might be in trouble as he faces a life and death situation out of this careless deed.

Aside from that, a video clip was posted on the same day that showed other horrible situations in PNR. On the viral video, there were too many passengers who wanted to get in but since space is already occupied, some of the men compressed themselves behind the unlocked doors while heavy rain was pouring.

Further, the video also showed that there is a marshal who pulled passengers in order for them to get out of the train. The videographer narrated in the news that there are situations that were not seen in the video, when the train started to move, some of the doors were not closed and some of it was half opened.

It just showed that PNR was left behind among all the trains in the Philippines and until now it is one of the scariest transportations in our country.

Based from the reports in TV Patrol, PNR can only accommodate 300 people per train but due to the shortage of trains, the people riding the train were doubled to 600. Also, there are only six locomotive trains that are functional. And if it is on-peak hours, commuters can wait for the train to arrive for about 30 minutes while during non-peak hours, they have to wait for an hour.

Another reason for the interruption of the train is due to overloading. Are people forcing themselves despite the overloaded cart, the problem or trains are insufficient to accommodate passengers? But why is there a lack of trains in PNR?

PNR General Manager Joseph Allan Dilay stated that there is a sufficient budget for the rehabilitation of old trains but there is no budget given to buy new trains. He said that once the other trains are fixed, there will be 10 train sets to operate.

In my existence I never tried riding in PNR and I have no direct experience with it but with these stories, I became terrified for the probable risk that may happen to the passengers.

These creepy tales aren’t scary at all but ‘too scary’ and due to these viral stories, PNR commuters might think of another scary act. Maybe I can’t blame the PNR commuters or the PNR management, but I am hoping that our government would take an action for this. They should not wait for another reckless to trend.

Like any other horror stories, there is always danger that may arise but unlike the horror stories, I wish that this “horror train” has an ending because I don’t want any people to die from it.

For as low as 10 pesos, are you ready to take a ride going to your final destination? Buy your tickets now at rjsbarrera@gmail.com.