The contracts are worth a combined Yen 69bn ($US 662.8m), which will be funded through an international-yen-loan agreement between the governments of Japan and Myanmar. The agreement also covers a comprehensive upgrade of the network, including the modernisation of signalling, track and station improvements.

Mitsubishi has subcontracted Spanish manufacturer CAF to design and manufacture the trains using Japanese components and equipment. The fleets will be delivered to Myanmar in stages between 2023 and 2025. CAF’s share of the contract is worth more than €500m.

The YCR project is part of an overall upgrade and modernisation of the Yangon Circular Railway. The EMUs will operate on the 46km loop around central Yangon, Myanmar’s largest commercial metropolis, reducing the journey time from 2h 50min to 1h 50min.

The 30 EMUs are being delivered as part of Phase 2 of the YM line improvement project. The EMUs will operate on the 620km line connecting Yangon to Mandalay via the capital, Naypyidaw. The improvements will reduce the journey time from 15 hours to eight hours.

“By assisting with work to provide citizens with more convenient mobility solutions, Mitsubishi is doing its part to accelerate economic development in Myanmar,” the company says. “Furthermore, by backing exports of high-quality infrastructure systems and proactively engaging in railway projects, the Japanese government is also striving to better the region’s quality of life and address the challenges that face it, including traffic congestion.”

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