BIDS IN FOR SKY VIEWS — RBE Service for travellers on Gokteik Viaduct tendered out

Gokteik Viaduct in norhtern Shan State.
Gokteik Viaduct in norhtern Shan State.

MYANMA Railways (MR) has tendered out rail bus engine (RBE) service on the Gokteik Viaduct in northern Myanmar, inviting tender from local and foreign companies.
According to Myanma Railways, the deadline for submitting the tender to its head office in Nay Pyi Taw is 29 February.
Tender forms have been sent out to applicants as of 18 February.
According the rules of the tender, RGC (Rail Gang Car) with a seating capacity of 20 or RBE with a seating capacity of 50 would be allowed to run along the Nawnghkio-Naungpain Route passing the Gokteik Viaduct.
The period of operating the business would be three years and the winner of the tender shall sign agreement with the
MR every year, according to the rules.
“If the service is run by a private company, the market would be expanded with better services,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Myo, Deputy General Manager of the Commerical Department of the Myanma Railways.
Myanma Railways is currently running the RBE service which can carry up to 50 people due to the increasing number of native visitors as well as tourists to Gokteik, running slowly across the Gokteik Viaduct in order for passengers to have the best chance to take in the view and stopping at both ends of the viaduct.
The trip takes around 10 minutes.  The trip costs K5,000 per person, according to Myanma Railways.
The Gokteik viaduct is recognised as the “The World’s Largest Trestle” and was built by the Pennsylvania Maryland Bridge & Construction Co. Ltd in 1899 and completed in 1900.
Myanma Railways has prohibited the walking tours along the world famous Gokteik Viaduct to maintain its durability and ensure safety.
CROWDS of local and foreign visitors continue to flock to the bridge over the Gokhteik Viaduct every day, despite the prohibition against tourists crossing the bridge, according to a spokesperson for the Gokhteik Railway Station.
The Gokhteik Viaduct is the highest bridge in Myanmar and was the largest railway trestle in the world when it was completed. It is situated in Nawnghkio Township in northern Shan State, approximately 100 kilometres northeast of Mandalay.
Generally, the Gokhteik Viaduct receives over 200 people per day. The number occasionally rises to 700, especially on weekends and holidays.   “Around 500 visitors passed over the viaduct every day before the prohibition was announced. Some visitors behaved unsafely on the bridge and broke the rules set by the authorities,” a local resident said.

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