Yangon to Mandalay Railway Back on Track

The railway linking Yangon to Manda­lay has been slat­ed to receive a series of large-scale, overdue reno­vations.

With a loan from the Japan International Co­operation Agency (JICA), the 385 mile stretch of rail will be revamped to meet international standards and halve transportation times.

U Myo Win, General Manager of Myanma Rail­ways, told the Myanmar Times, “we will repair parts of the railway that have fallen into disrepair and replace them with modern equipment. We will cooperate with JICA to transfer this technology from Japan,”

JICA has offered an Of­ficial Development As­sistance (ODA) loan of 271.64 billion yen (K3.33 trillion) and the Myan­mar government has also pledged K428 billion..

Major renovations will include updating the new coaches, fixing the run-down rail tracks, building new railway stations, and introducing new technol­ogy such as automated ticket machines and mod­ern signals, U Myat Thu, Mandalay’s Regional Minister of Finance Plan­ning, said.

As studies are underway to determine the precise scale of improvements at each of the railway’s junc­tures, the project is expect­ed to begin in early 2018.

“The project will com­mence in two phases, the first from Yangon to Tan­goo and the second from Tangoo to Mandalay,” U Nyi Nyi Swe, Deputy Gen­eral Manager at Planning Department of Ministry of Transport and Com­munications told Myan­mar Business Today.

The decaying state of the railway has prevented ef­ficient commerce or travel from taking place on its tracks for decades. When the overhaul is complete, trains will be able to travel at twice the current speed of 50 kph and travel time between Myanmar’s two largest cities will be re­duced from 14 to 7 hours.

An effective trade route connecting Mandalay and Yangon is vital for the de­velopment of Mandalay Division and its less ur­banized neighbors. Much of northern and central Myanmar rely on Yangon for the delivery of food, construction materials, and petroleum.

All renovations are ex­pected to be completed by 2023.

Source: Myanmar Business Today