China – Myanmar Railway

Written by Vivi Updated Mar. 21, 2022

The China - Myanmar Railway, also called the "China - Myanmar International Railway", starts at the city of Kunming in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province, and ends at Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar. This 1920-kilometer-long rail line is an important section of the Western Trans-Asia Railway Network.

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China – Myanmar Railway Running Route

As of the plan, the total length of the China – Myanmar Railway will start from Kunming, then go southwest to Ruili, a Chinese border city crossing between China and Myanmar. After cross the border to town of Muse in Myanmar, the rail line will go southward to Yangon. This railway is comprised of two running routes.

Kunming – Ruili Railway

The Kunming – Ruili Railway consists of two rail lines: Kunming – Dali Railway and Dali – Ruili Railway. The former rail line from Kunming to Dali has already been in service. It is also known as the Kunming – Chuxiong – Dali Intercity Railway. Over 60 pairs of daily bullet trains are available on this 350-kilometer-long railway, with a travel time of around 2 hours. Train travel between Kunming and Dali become more and more convenient with the operation of Kunming – Dali High-Speed Railway.

The latter rail line from Dali to Ruili is still under construction and is expected to be completed in 2023. According to the plan, it will be a single-track electrified railway with a total length of 336 kilometers (209 miles). The designed speed is 140 km/h. This railway will start from Dali, pass through cities of Yongping, Baoshan and Longling, and ends at Ruili on the border of Myanmar. After the completion of this railway, it will connect the last section of the China - Myanmar International Railway in China and become an important railroad of the Trans-Asian Railway. The travel time from Kunming to Ruili will be greatly shortened.

Kunming Railway Station

Muse – Yangon Railway

The construction of the 810-kilometer-long Muse – Yangon Railway is still under negotiation by the governments of China and Myanmar. According to the plan, this railway will pass through Shan State, Mandalay Province, Magway Province in the north of Myanmar, and Rakhine State in western Myanmar in northern Myanmar, with a design speed of 160km/h.

Latest Developments of Construction

The section of China – Myanmar Railway in China is under construction and will be put into service by the end of 2023 to connect the southwestern China and China-Myanmar border. Once the construction of Dali – Ruili Railway is finished, it will only take 5 hours from Kunming to Ruili by bullet trains.

Construction of the other section of railway in Myanmar was officially proposed in 2011. Construction of Muse - Yangon, which was supposed to start in 2014, has been delayed for political and technical reasons.

The latest development comes in 2021. In January 2021, China and Myanmar signed a memorandum of understanding on the feasibility study of the China - Myanmar Railway Project, and the signing ceremony was held in Naypyidaw on the January 10th. On the basis of the completion of the feasibility study, China and Myanmar conducted in-depth discussions on technical schemes and financing methods. Consultation on feasibility study was completed for Mandalay – Kyaukpyu Railway, which was supported by various departments of Myanmar government and provinces and states along the railway.Railway Station in Yangon

The Benefits of Building China – Myanmar Railway

As an important part of the Trans-Asian Railway, China-Myanmar Railway is a landmark key project along the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. The construction of China - Myanmar Railway will play a positive role in promoting ASEAN countries, especially Myanmar's economic and trade cooperation and friendly exchanges with southwestern China. Once the China-Myanmar Railway is completed, it will become China's major international channel connecting Southeast Asia and South Asia.

China is Myanmar's largest trading partner and source of investment. If the international railway between China and Myanmar is completed, will make Myanmar more closely connected with the huge market of 1.4 billion people and the vast Eurasian continent, promote Myanmar's economic development and improvement of people's livelihood, and help Myanmar's domestic reconciliation and peace process. It will be of great significance to further promote the economic exchanges between China and Myanmar, accelerate the development of Myanmar's national economy and promote the connection of the western line of the Trans-Asian Railway.

The construction of china - Myanmar Railway will also drive the trade growth of southwest China and Myanmar, make certain contributions to the border economy and improve the economic level of local people. The China - Myanmar Railway is a part of the planning of the West Passage of Trans-Asian Railway and a priority project of china - Myanmar Economic Corridor. It will become a bridge between southwest China and important cities in Myanmar. The railway not only promote the development of tourism, trade and logistics industries in China and Myanmar, but also build a safe, efficient and fast modern fast transportation channel for Myanmar, and promote the sustainable development of Myanmar's economy and society.

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