DAGUPAN CITY - A Senatorial aspirant is mulling the revival of the North Railroad System that traverses Dagupan City which is deemed to contribute to agricultural boost in the province.
Incumbent Congressman Sherwin ‘Win’ Gatchalian talked about the train system revival during his visit to Dagupan City when asked about his possible top priorities in Pangasinan should he clinch a Senate seat in the 2016 elections.
“As Pangasinan is agriculture-based, priority pa rin natin ang agriculture. Buhayin natin ang North Rail transit sa Luzon which could help in the delivery of agricultural goods at bababa ang cost ng transport pati ng goods,” Gatchalian told media men.
In this way, the province can contribute to the country’s rice sufficiency, he said.
Gatchalian also mentioned of tourism boost as a priority since the province has the Hundred Islands, Manaoag shrine and plenty of caves.
The 42-year old Senatoriable said it was always good to go back to the province where he spent his early teenage days in the family fishpond in Lingayen town.
The North Railroad Transit is part of the Philippine National Railways or PNR, operating a single line of track in Luzon. History dictates that on June 25, 1875, under a royal decree issued by King Alfonso XII of Spain, the required Inspector of Public Works of the Philippine Islands was requested to submit a railway system plan for Luzon. The plan included a concession for the construction of a railway line from Manila to Dagupan which was granted to Don Edmundo Sykes of the Ferrocarril de Manila–Dagupan (Manila–Dagupan Railway), later to become the Manila Railway Company, Ltd. of London, on June 1, 1887
However, continued neglect in past decades reduced PNR's efficiency and railroad coverage. Persistent problems with informal settlers in the 1990s contributed further to PNR's decline.
A village in Dagupan City, Barangay Mayombo, retains a sitio called PNR where the railroad transit used to traverse. (VHS/PIA-1, Pangasinan)