Junction Express Railroad Alabang

Miniature Railroad Spotlight


Junction Express

The Junction Express Railroad at Festival Mall, Alabang Philippines

The Junction Express Railroad at Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines

          In February of 2011 I traveled from Phoenix Arizona to Southeast Asia on business. My first stop was Bangkok Thailand. A few days later I found myself in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines. My flight to Manila arrived mid-afternoon and after an interesting cab ride to the hotel I was looking to stretch my legs and get a little exercise. I could see a 4 story shopping mall just a short walk from the hotel and decided walking through a mall might just do the trick. On the way out the door I grabbed my point and shoot camera figuring I'd get a quick photo of the 31 story hotel where I was staying.

Viver Suites

31 story Vivere Suites Hotel


The next morning's sunrise over Laguna de Bay

          I found out that the Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City, Philippines contains nearly 500 specialty shops in a 200,000 square meter, 4 story complex. After seeing dozens of stores, some with names I recognized but most I didn't, I was nearly floored when I noticed a set of ~16" gauge railroad tracks running through the center of the first floor of the mall. There was a 3rd "rail" to the side which combined with the indoor nature of the railroad meant it must have an electric train somewhere!

Festival Mall Track

View of the track from a 2nd floor escalator


~16" gauge track with an electrified "rail" to the side

          After a few minutes I spotted an engine pulling 4 left side load passenger cars. The tracks are a point to point route with a balloon on each end forming a dog bone. The right-of-way travels through a cartoonish playground of plastic catcus, plastic palm trees and plastic turf that the local kids seemed to enjoy.

Right of Way

Cartoonish plastic landscape

Over Head View

View from the mall's 4th floor

At one end of the route is an American style depot where passengers board. A short distance from the depot a pair of crossing gates close and keep shoppers off the tracks as the train approaches. The train soon crosses a trestle with a pedestrian underpass near the food court. A short distance later it passes a small waterfall feature, a water tank and go-kart track before reaching the next set of crossing gates and the reversing loop of track at the far end of the mall.


Pedestrian underpass at the food court

Water Fall Feature

Passing the water fall feature

Crossing Gates

Crossing gates keep shoppers off the tracks as the train approaches

Water Tank

A water tank helps provide railroad ambiance

Train Engine

Junction Express Railroad awaiting passengers at the depot

          The Junction Express Railroad at the Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City Philippines was a pleasant surprise and provided a nice way to spend the afternoon.

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