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February 27, 2018

Death Railway Museum to open by April

Tourists visit the coal-powered locomotive, which is displayed near the Death Railway in Thanbyuzayat.
Tourists visit the coal-powered locomotive, which is displayed near the Death Railway in Thanbyuzayat.

THE Death Railway Museum at the site of the World War II-era Death  Railway in Thanbyuzayat Township, is expected to be inaugurated by coming April.
The museum would showcase historic photos connected with the Death Railway, paintings and sculptures and 3D images of the daily life of prisoners of war who died during construction of the railway.
Artists are putting finishing touches on silicon statues of Japanese soldiers and prisoners of war, which will be displayed within the two-storey museum.
Talamon Company Ltd won the right to develop the museum together with a hotel, a restaurant and other tourist facilities on four acres of land at the site in Thanbyuzayat Township.  The construction of the museum began in April last year.
The museum will offer visitors the opportunity to see a coal-fired C-0522 engine, which was used on the Death Railway, and the memorial place where the death railway line originated.
The Thanbyuzayat Township graveyard, where several thousand victims of the Death Railway are buried, has also attracted tourists.
“The Japanese army forced more than 120,000 prisoners of war from alien countries and other Southeast Asian nations to construct the175-mile death railway linking Thanbyuzayat and Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
The number of deaths was equal to the sleepers along the railway, said an expert who is collecting artifacts related to the death railway to be displayed at the museum.
More than 16,000 prisoners of war died during the construction of the railway, amounting to about 38 prisoners for every kilometer of the 415-kilometer railway. With little or no medical care, they succumbed to sickness, malnutrition and exhaustion. Many suffered horribly before their deaths.

Soe Win (SP)


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