MANDALAY, JUn 22, 2020, Myanmar Times. A Chinese company is applying to conduct feasibility studies for a high-speed railway between Mandalay-Kyaukphyu, said U Nyi Nyi Swe, general manager of Myanma Railways, Myanmar Times reported.
The railway is part of a larger railway project connecting Muse to Mandalay. A memorandum of understanding for the railway was signed between the Myanmar government and China Railway Eryuan Engineering Group Co Ltd (CREEG) on October 22, 2018.
“The Muse-Mandalay MoU includes applying for permission to conduct feasibility studies to build the railway from Mandalay to Kyaukphyu. The feasibility study takes two or three years,” U Nyi Nyi Swe said.
The Chinese want to connect Kyaukphyu in Rakhine, where they will be developing an industrial zone and deepsea port, with Kunming in China via the Muse border town by building Kunming-Muse-Kyaukphyu express railroad. The route will also connect Mandalay with Yangon.
U Ba Myint, managing director of Myanma Railways, said the project is expected to bring benefits in the form of increased border trade.
He said the 431-km Muse-Mandalay high-speed railroad project, which will be built for trains to run at speeds of up to 160 km per hour, will cost around US$8.9 billion to build.
The project is not expected to interfere with residents who live along the railway route, U Win Khant, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, said during a recent press conference.