15 September 2020
For ensuring smooth flow of commodities, Myanma Railways is implementing Express and Circular Trains plying from Yangon Region to other States and Regions with lesser numbers of trains. This is the consequences of Covid-19 pandemic crisis which rapidly affect throughout the Country, so, every State and Region announced and followed health directives and orders strictly, based on the fact that people must not go outside or travel if it is not important.
Myanma Railways is currently going on providing rail service with at least each train on six vital railroad sections, but the remaining trains have been stopped from running. This is because the numbers of passengers remarkably are on the decrease and the travels are restricted in line with the directives issued by the National Level Central Committee on Prevention, Control and Treatment of Covid-19.
U Zaw Lwin, Deputy General Manager (Traffic), No.7 Division (Yangon) Myanma Railways, said, “In these trains, we are mainly planning to be able to transport the commodities, the essential thing for the public. We are mainly providing rail service with at least each train on six vital railroad sections such as Yangon-Mandalay, Mandalay-Myitkyina, Yangon-Pyay, Nay Pyi Taw-Chauk, Pathein-Kyangin and Mandalay-Lashio. And we already announced the updated schedule of the trains in the respective stations for the public. The main purpose is to maintain the commodity flows. Since most of the crops entering Yangon come from Bago Region, postal and parcel trains are also running on Yangon-Pyay railroad section. For the circular trains, we are providing circular train services for the people of Yangon to be able to reach the destinations on time during office hours. Our Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Headquarters of Myanmar Railways will keep on provide rail service in accord with the health guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Sports.”
No 3 up and No 4 down trains are running on Yangon-Mandalay railroad section, one of the six keys ones, No 41 up and No 42 down trains on Mandalay-Myitkyina railroad section, No 63 up and No 64 down trains on Yangon-Pyay railroad section, No 101 up and 102 down trains on Nay Pyi Taw-Chauk railroad section, No 105 up and No 106 down trains on Pathein-Kyangin railroad section, and No 131 up and No 132 down trains on Mandalay-Lashio railroad section which is carrying most returnees from aboard via the border.
Moreover, the runs of circular trains from Yangon-Hlawga railroad section, Yangon-Toegyounggalay-Ywathagyi railroad section, and Yangon-Mingaladon railroad section have been reduced, but the circular trains are running mainly during office hours for ensuring the convenience and comfort of the passengers.
U Thaung Htike, chief station master of Yangon Railways Station, said, “The numbers of passengers for circular train relatively decrease. We are running our trains depending upon increasing number or decreasing number of passengers. There are still some passengers who are working for the company and other departments in this period although most people are staying at home. That’s why we are providing services for those who need to ride our trains in every rush hour. We are warning the passengers to know the ways how to prevent the disease by using loud speakers as the resurgence is spreading faster than the earlier stage. And we are also performing all the tasks while preventing ourselves from the virus risks. People are requested to wear masks properly but not to wear in the wrong way by hanging masks in their chins when they take the trains. This is a must in performing the preventative measures against Covid-19”.
Myanma Railway has made the plans for transporting the passengers by using circular trains. Normally, 54 circular trains are running per day but now only 30 trains are running currently as 24 are temporarily stopped from running. There are two runs for morning and two runs for evening on Yangon-Hlawga railroad section, the same numbers on Yangon-Mingaladon railroad section, and the same numbers on Yangon-Toegyounggalay-Ywathagyi railroad section. There are 4 circular trains running clockwise and anti-clockwise directions. If necessary, Myanma Railways will be in preparation for extending circular train service.
Zwe Mahn and May Myat Noe