The Route has been finalised for the Muse-Mandalay high-speed railway line to be built by Myanmar and China, according to Myanmar Railways.
The project is part of Myanmar’s cooperation in the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC). The railway will begin near Myitnge in Amarapura township in Mandalay, and will pass through 11 townships, said U Htay Hlaing Deputy General Manager of Myanmar Railways.
“The route is nearly confirmed, but the environmental assessment is still under way, and we will survey residents’ opinions along the line. It will pass through Patheingyi, Pyin Oo Lwin, Nawngcho, and Thibaw. There will be a station in Nam Ohm, and it will pass through Lashio, Theinni, Kutkai and Nam Hpet Kar before reaching Muse,” he said.
Myanmar is participating in China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
Myanmar Railways, under the Ministry of Transport and Communications, and China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co Ltd signed a memorandum of understanding in October 2018 to conduct a feasibility study for the Muse-Mandalay high-speed railway project as part of the CMEC. Now the railway’s route has been decided, said U Myo Win, general manager of Myanmar Railways for upper Myanmar.
Electric trains will run on the railway, which will be about 414 kilometres long. The trip from Muse to Mandalay will take three hours, and the line will link with Kunming city in China, according to the railway.
The line, which will have 36 stations, about 60 tunnels and about 124 bridges, will cost about US$7 billion.
“Currently the Mandalay-Lashio train trip takes 15 [hours], but the new train will take only 3 [hours] to Muse,” U Htay Hlaing said.
The agency is sharing information and gathering public opinion along the route, and will conduct environmental impact and social impact assessments, railway officials said.
An International tender will be called for the construction of the line, said U Htay Hlaing, the railways Deputy General Manager for training.
When completed, the line is expected to facilitate exports to China and ease traffic jams on roads used for border trade. It is also expected to create jobs and attract technical assistance, he said.