The first phase of the project involves the construction of a 126km
section between Muse and the existing Myanmar Railways railhead at
Lashio, 200km northeast of Mandalay. This section of the line will have
seven stations, 41 bridges, and 36 tunnels.

The two countries have been discussing the construction of a rail link
since at least 2009. The line will allow bulk freight from Africa to
dock in Myanmar for onward land transport to China, avoiding the
passage through the congested Strait of Malacca between Sumatra and the
Thai-Malay Peninsula that is currently required to reach Chinese ports.
China is already building a 770km pipeline from the Myanmar coast to