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Initial technical report on Muse-Mandalay railway project submitted

A technical report that is a part of a feasibility study being conducted on the Muse-Mandalay railway as part of the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor has been submitted to the government, according to Myanma Railways and the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

China Railway Eryuan Engineering Co (CREEC) submitted the report, which is based on a ground survey along Muse-Mandalay highway road and which includes results from a soil analysis test as well as suggested routes, said U Htaung Shan Khan, general manager of Administration and Planning for Myanma Railways.

China-backed CREEC conducted ground survey works in the last week of December, 2018. The technical report was carried out during the first four months of the year. Officials of CREEC and Myanma Railways inspected the ground along proposed routes for the Muse-Mandalay railway project. They also held public meetings with the authorities, residents and township’s elders of Kyaukme, Lashio and Muse, where the railway might pass through.

However, the report will be complete only when an environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment and the project’s commercial and financial viability are conducted.

The project’s impact on road and cargo traffic as well as the total financial costs involved must also be considered before a decision can be made.

“We don’t know whether the project will be implemented via a government-to-government loan, public-private partnership, or joint venture yet. We still have a lot to negotiate based on the best interests of our country,” said U Htaung Shan Khan.

The Muse-Mandalay Railroad project is a part of the Kunming-Muse-Mandalay-Kyaukphyu high-speed railroad project under China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.

The Muse-Mandalay Railroad is expected to span over 430 kilometres and be designed for electric trains with speed of 160kmh. A total of seven depots and five train stations will be built along the railroad.

At present, the Kunming-Shweli railway is being constructed by the Chinese government and will connect with the Muse-Mandalay route. It is expected to be completed in 2021, said U Htaung Shan Khan.

The railway will also be connected with Kyauk Phyu Special Economic Zone and Deep Sea Port.

“As most of the Myanmar population lives in rural areas and most of agricultural products can be exported to China we can assume that many farmers will benefit from the railway project. Chinese people will also be encouraged to visit Myanmar,” Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Hong Liang told the reporters at his home last week.

Source: Myanmar Times

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