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11 April 2016: A team of 10 engineers from Myanmar Railway has just completed a 4 week training programme with the Hiroshima Electric Railway Co at their factory in Hiroshima, Japan.
Hiroshima Electric Railway Co currently runs a tram system that runs 19 km around Hiroshima city. The Hiroshima tram service is the busiest of its kind in Japan.
Hiroshima Electric Railway Co is ideally placed to provide Myanmar Railway employees with training for two principal reasons:
1. Myanmar has just embarked on a process of electrifying its railway lines. A first 6 km stretch of track was electrified in January 2016 with plans in place to electrify more of Myanmar’s 5,800 km of railway track at some point in the future.
2. The Hiroshima Electric Railway Co are experts at maintenance of old trains. They currently operate electric trains which have been in service since the 1940s and 1950s. The company claims to continue to operate a train partially damaged in the 1945 atomic explosion in Hiroshima upto the present day.
This training will come in very useful to Myanmar’s railway engineers as the two electric trains currently running on the 6 km stretch of electrified track in Yangon are themselves very old, one dating back to 1950 and the other 1963, and both were donated to Myanmar by the Hiroshima Electric Railway Co.