VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Photos do NOT show Tuguegarao train cars

A Facebook (FB) user published photos of trains with the claim these are for the “Manila to Tuguegarao” train line. This claim is false.

On Aug. 1, the netizen uploaded a post captioned: “manila to tuguegarao. 4hrs n lang (only four hours).” Accompanying it is a collage composed of three photos showing: 

  • three parked trains;
  • a close-up shot of a white train;
  • and the interior of a train car with blue chairs and orange tables.

The Philippine National Railways (PNR) has never operated a Manila-Tuguegarao line.

In 2017, the Russian government expressed interest in financing a feasibility study regarding the revival of the PNR’s North Rail project, which would link Manila to northern Luzon provinces, including Tarlac, La Union, and Cagayan.

There has been no recent update from PNR or the Department of Transportation on the proposal.

Meanwhile, the close-up shot of the white train and the picture of a train car’s interior were screenshots from a video of a June 28 Chinese news report on the unveiling of Chinese manufacturer CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive’s trains to be exported to the Philippines.

On the other hand, the photo of the three parked trains was lifted from a June 28 series of photos taken during the same event.

The exterior and interior designs of the train appear similar to those intended for the PNR’s South Long Haul Line, also known as PNR Bicol.

The line is an upcoming 560-kilometer railway network connecting Manila to Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Sur, and Albay. Construction work for its first 380 kilometers started earlier this year.

Before the false FB post was published, Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez said in an economic briefing that the Marcos administration was determined to secure funding for three major railway projects.

This social media post has garnered more than 5,300 reactions, 1,500 comments and 9,200 shares as of publishing.

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(Editor’s Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)