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June 25, 2019

Second consignment of steel rails for Yangon-Mandalay Railway upgrade arrives in Yangon

Myanma Railways staff unloading steel rails from the cargo ship at the Sule Port in Yangon on 4 June. 
Photo: Zarni Maung

New steel tracks for the Yangon-Mandalay Railway upgrade arrived on 4 June at the Sule Port in Yangon.
“The steel rails will be used on the Yangon-Taungoo route, which is covered by Phase 1 of the Yangon-Mandalay Railway upgrade project. The Yangon-Taungoo route is 116 miles long. Thereafter, the 200-mile Mandalay-Taungoo route will be upgraded. That project will take about two years,” said U Tun Aung Thin, General Manager (lower Myanmar), Myanma Railways.
The first consignment of new rails from Japan arrived at 2 p.m. on 1 May at the Sule Port, and they were delivered through the Ywarthargyi dry port. The rails are meant for the Yangon-Taungoo route. The steel rails currently being used by Yangon-Mandalay Railway weigh 75 pounds, while the new rails from Japan measure 82 feet in length and weigh 110 pounds.
“The railway tracks will be substituted with the new ones from Japan, and they will help cut travel time.
There are too many train stations, level crossings, and illegal shortcut roads, and they are increasing travel time. If these can be reduced, trains can arrive faster, taking a short time,” said U Tun Aung
Thin. For upgrading the Yangon-Mandalay Railway, Myanmar has taken a US$2.4-billion loan from Japan and the project will take about four years. After the upgrade, trains will complete the Yangon-Bago journey in just one hour, and travel from Bago to Mandalay in seven hours.
In addition, the new coaches will have air conditioning and air bags.—Zarni Maung (Translated by La Wonn)

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