A map showing the route from Yangon to Mandalay. Photo: Hitachi

Yangon, Myanmar January 25 2017 – Japan will provide a loan of $210 million to Myanmar to help construction on the Yangon-Mandalay railway upgrade.

The loan comes as part of a larger package of $824 million from Japan.

The railway upgrade involves the installation of tracks for new carriages. Myanmar Railways announced at the end of last year that it had started bidding for 24 diesel-electric trains. The bidding will close in March.

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency sees the railway as a key part of reducing poverty in Myanmar.

The Yangon-Mandalay railway is the main route through the country, running from the largest city of Yangon, through the capital Naypyitaw and north to Mandalay. This is the second loan from Japan’s aid agency earmarked for the upgrade project.

The JICA is also working on a plan to develop Yangon’s transport network.