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May 31, 2006
The world's most dangerous train ride
The world's most dangerous train ride?
by Howie Severino.


Manila by train is like riding into war. The railroad tracks cut through some of the densest urban communities in the country. Irritated by their broken sleep or interrupted card games on the tracks, local toughies pelt the train with anything within reach. I was shooting (my camera) from the front of the train when I got hit by a piece of wood. I was lucky.

Train personnel show scars from rocks. That's why the conductors have screens over the glass windshields. The passenger cars have metal screens too but no glass, so wooden windows are pulled up in certain neighborhoods which are known to harbor shit throwers. Yes, some crazies wait for the train to pass so they can bombard it with poo-poo wrapped in newspapers, otherwise known as "flying saucers."

Others see the train as a convenient garbage disposal system: they throw their bags of garbage onto the moving roof and not have to worry about tardy garbage pick-ups.

Trackside residents nurse a deep grudge against the passing trains, blaming them for the numerous accidents that have occurred along the tracks over the years, even though the railroad was there first. The victims are usually drunks or kids who get in the way of a rumbling behemoth that cannot stop on a dime.

Trains and trackside communities are a fatal mix. But it's yet another consequence of the country's land problem. Many migrants and other poor people just have nowhere else to settle but one of the most perilous places to call home.

Here are some amazing photos taken of the train tracks taken by Sidney Snoeck.

Here is the origional page where Howie Severino writes about this train.
posted by R, J, & A @ 5/31/2006 09:15:00 AM  
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Name: R, J, & A
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