Mitsubishi Corporation and Hitachi Ltd have signed a ¥2.4 billion ($19.8 million) contract to supply and install railway signalling systems in Myanmar.
The contract, signed with Myanma Railways, will be covered by grant aid from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Completion of the project is scheduled for June 2017, Mitsubishi said in a statement.
The signalling systems to be supplied and installed by MC and Hitachi consist of a train monitoring system, which enables operational control centres to conduct unified management of train positions, an electronic interlocking system that controls turnout machines and signal lamps for realising safe train operations and a level crossing system which allows for detecting approaching trains and automatically giving a warning. The systems will be installed along a 140-kilometer stretch between Yangon Central Station and Pyuntasa Station, located along the railway route from Yangon to Mandalay.
Improvement of the quality and safety of railway services in Myanmar has become a pressing issue lately, given the dilapidated and rickety railway infrastructure in Myanmar.
Since most long-haul transportation in Myanmar depends on automobiles and airlines, the government has been trying to develop rail transportation infrastructure in order to accommodate increasing demand for passenger and cargo transportation.
“MC and Hitachi will supply train signalling systems which have been successfully developed on the basis of Japanese technology and experience with the expectation that this will help to improve rail safety and contribute to modernising, upgrading and diversifying transportation infrastructure in Myanmar,” the firms said in a statement.
Several railway infrastructure projects are being planned in Myanmar, including the modernisation of the whole Yangon-Mandalay route and the Yangon circle line.
This project carries particular significance because the tranche covered connects the Yangon-Mandalay route and the Yangon circle line. MC and Hitachi said they will continue to pursue opportunities for involvement in future railway infrastructure projects in Myanmar.