China Railways set to conduct feasibility study for $9bn Myanmar railway

A China Railway Group subsidiary has made an application to conduct feasibility studies for a 650km medium-speed railway in Myanmar.

China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group is hoping to investigate a line between the second city of Mandalay in central Myanmar and a planned deep sea port and industrial zone at Kyauk Pyu.

The line would make up about half of a planned 1,215km link between the new port and Kunming, the capital of China’s Yunnan province, via Mandalay and the border town of Muse (pictured). This line was priced at about $20bn in 2011.

A memorandum of understanding for the railway was signed between the Myanmar government and China Railways in October 2018.

The announcement that China wants to begin preconstruction operations was made by U Nyi Nyi Swe, general manager of Myanmar Railways, according to the Myanmar Times.

He said: "The Muse-Mandalay memorandum includes applying for permission to conduct feasibility studies to extend the railway from Mandalay to Kyauk Pyu. The feasibility study will take two or three years."

He added that the railroad project would allow trains to run at speeds of up to 160km/h, and would cost around $9bn.

Image: The town of Muse (Ericwinny/CC BY-SA 4.0)

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  1. It would be great if Myanmar got finally connected with her neighbour countries by RAIL (for which plans and plans have existed almost already since ages…). We all, around the world, should by now be aware that rail infrastructure is so much less space destroying and space consuming than the large, wide motorways of modern times, thus much more respective of the precious environment everywhere, for a good liveable future of our children, small children… How much this is true for – beautiful – South East Asia. So applied for the rail connection China-Myanmar: a line not too slow, not too fast, enough intermediate stops to serve and let profit many, and moderate dimensions for a new port, utmost respect for nature & the regional cultures…, short: avoiding overdoing by too capitalistic temptations… I trust this will be affordable & achievable by “good governance” through the participating governments, with a really “sustainable” result.

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