22 November 2018
Work on the first phase of the Yangon-Mandalay Railway Improvement Project has begun, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications announced.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the project was held at the Nyaunglebin Railway Station in Bago Region on November 11.
The funding for the upgrading of the railway measuring 620 kilometres will come courtesy of an Official Development Assistance (ODA) loan from Japan.
Divided into two phases, the first phase of the project covers the Yangon-Taungoo section of the route while the second phase will cover Taungoo to Mandalay. The first phase will involve work on 267km of track.
Expected to be completed over four years, the project will shorten train journeys from Yangon to Bago to one hour and from Bago to Mandalay to seven hours.
Yangon – Mandalay Railway Improvement Project Phase 1 covers 166 miles. Among the 166 miles, 70pc of Bagon region including 46 miles of Bag –Nyaunglebin (CP 102) and 73 miles of Nyaunglebin–Taungoo (CP 103). This project with Japan ODA rehabilitate within 4 years. After that, Yangon – Bagon Train has 1 hour of time period and Bago–Mandalay has 7 hour of time period.
Earlier this Max Myanmar Construction Co Ltd and Japan’s Tekken – Rinkai Nissan Construction Co Ltd signed an agreement for a joint venture to work on 74km of track from Bago to Nyaunglebin under the first phase of the project.
The objectives of the project are to renovate and modernise the old facilities and equipment along the rail route between Yangon and Taungoo of the existing railway that connects Myanmar’s largest and second largest cities (Yangon and Mandalay), and to promote safer and faster train service, enhance the capacity for passenger and cargo transport, and thus to contribute to Myanmar’s economic growth.
According to the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the loan agreements for the project were signed on September 5, 2014 (for ¥20 billion) and on March 1, 2017 (for ¥25 billion). The project will include civil and track works, installation of signal and telecommunication systems, procurement rolling stock and consulting services. The first phase is expected to be completed in 2023.
This project aims to improve the capacity of railway transportation by rehabilitating and modernising the existing railway and related facilities from Yangon to Toungoo portion of the Yangon-Mandalay railway, thereby contributing to the development of the country.