A report by Eleven News Myanmar on March 22 quotes Mr Kyaw Kyaw Myo, assistant general manager for the country's Ministry of Railways as saying that 13 lines have been identified for modernisation in the medium-term, five of which have been prioritised for urgent upgrading.

The priority routes include:

  • Rangoon – Mandalay
  • Mandalay – Myitkyina
  • Bago – Mottama – Yay
  • Rangoon – Pyay, and
  • the Rangoon Circular Railway

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has reportedly offered to provide a $US 202m loan for the Rangoon – Mandalay project and the government plans to obtain a $US 100m loan for the upgrading of the Bago – Yay line. A loan application will be submitted to Korea's Exim Bank for the modernisation of the Mandalay – Myitkyina line.

Myanmar Railways operates a 4800km metre-gauge network, which carries around 63 million passengers and 3.5 million tonnes of freight per year.