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September 23, 2019

MR nixed 36 routes in 4 years amid mounting losses

Myanma Railways is providing railway services to the people with affordable fares. Photo: Phoe Khwar

The Myanma Railways (MR) has cancelled 36 routes that have not been profitable for years, according to the Economic Department of the MR under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Between the 2015-2016FY and the last mini-budget period, MR has stopped services on 36 routes, including railway mail service, passenger railway service, freight service, and short route service.
“Income from the railway service has been decreasing since the 2011-2012FY. Therefore, we changed our policy and stopped services on certain routes. We will provide more services on profitable routes and upgrade them. Operating some routes did not cover even the cost of diesel. Losses have been mounting. Earlier, all lines were mandatory. To cover losses, MR has cancelled 36 routes,” said U Aung Thu Latt, the Deputy General Manager (Passenger Division) of MR.
Although MR stopped services on some routes, the lines for 26 trains — including four express trains, two passenger trains, four short route train, 16 railway mail service trains — which ran on the cancelled routes were changed between the 2015-2016 and 2018-2019 financial years to improve services on profitable routes.
Additionally, four express trains and four trains used for railway mail service were redirected to profitable routes in the 2016-17FY and the 2017-2018FY. According to data from the Economic Department of MR, freight, passenger, and other railway services earned K30 billion in the last mini-budget period (April to September 2018), K57.67 billion in the 2017-2018FY, K64.2 billion in the 2016-2017FY, K70.28 billion in the 2015-2016FY, K61.8 billion in the 2014-2015FY, K62.2 billion in the 2013-2014FY, K61.68 billion in the 2012-13 FY, and K50.9 billion in the 2011-12FY.
The MR is providing railway services, ensuring safety of commuters, smooth movement of freight and passengers, on-time running, and affordable fares, said officials.
It has steadily increased the reach of its network, operating 3,798.83 miles (6,110.481km), divided into 11 divisions. It has laid tracks across 12,103 bridges, 12 cave rails, and 863 stations.
MR operates 443 trains, including 40 express trains, 62 trains for railway mail service, 50 passenger trains, 18 short route trains, 241 circular trains, and 22 other trains.

By Nyein Nyein (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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