Thursday, 11 May 2017

Last Full Day in Yangon

Events of Wednesday 10th May 2017

Since my first visit to Yangon in 2008, the intensive railway working around the Circle Line has fascinated me. There's an earlier post Yangon Area Railways which gives an overview.

My friend Doctor Hla Tun had managed (after some difficulty) to arrange official permission for us to visit signal cabins on the Circle Line before modernisation by the Japanese wipes them away. So the day was spent dashing from site to site in the Doctor's car and trying to understand the equipment and systems currently in use by inspection, by taking photographs for later study and by quizzing the local staff, with the Doctor as interpreter. We were warmly welcomed every where we visited and I had a wonderful day but, of course, ended up totally exhausted.

We first went to Khyee Myin Daing station I'd visited previously. There's an earlier post here. On the 'official' visit in 2017, I discovered signalling equipment (of a pattern I'd not come across previously) which is used to instruct the two local signal boxes regarding the route through the station area to be taken by trains. Then we visited the South Signal Box I'd photographed a year earlier. This time, I was allowed to make three lever movements. I was very surprised when I learned, a few days later, that the stationmaster's photograph of the writer operating the frame had appeared in the newspaper Myanma Alinn Daily News on May 12.


Jan operating the lever frame at Khyee Myin Daing South Signal Cabin.

We then moved to Khyee Myin Daing North Signal Cabin for more pictures. The 'South' and 'North' cabins are the only 'mechanical' cabins in the Yangon area.

On earlier visits to Insein, I'd identified the 'power' signal cabin but failed to identify the likely equipment supplier, so I was keen to inspect this installation. There's an earlier post here. On the 'official' visit in 2017, I discovered that the push-button control panel was a 'modified NX' pattern made in Korea. I was unable to inspect the relay room as the technician with the key was away at the time.

On a previous visit to Myanmar, I'd found a small push-button signalling panel at Da Nyn Gone which I believed had been built locally by Myanma Railways. There's a post here.

Based on this discovery, it appeared likely that the small installations at Mingalardon and Paywet Seik Kone were controlled from similar locally-built panels. The 'official' visit in 2017 allowed me to inspect both Mingalardon and Paywet Seik Kone stations and confirm that locally-manufactured push-button panels are in use. I was also able to take pictures of the relay interlocking at the two sites and determine that rather elderly Westinghouse relays are in use.

I believe Pazundaung and Mahlwagone probably have similar installations constructed in Myanmar but there was insufficient time to establish this positively.

In the above, I've used the 'Anglicised' spelling which the railway seems to use, although rendering Myanmar names in 'English' is always a rather variable affair. I took lots of technical pictures, plus a few 'group shots' with the station masters and staff at some of the places we visited. These pictures have now been uploaded to 'Flickr' and the various new albums are listed below. It will take time to absorb what I saw and, in due course, further technical reports will surely appear.

I spent a quiet evening at Doctor Hla Tun's home. Sadly, I had come to the end of my visit to Myanmar and the following morning I was to travel to Australia to visit some of my friends there.

Related Posts on this Website

Next Post describing this trip.
All Burma-2017 Trip posts.

My Pictures

Kyee Myin Daing Station Master's Office.
Kyee Myin Daing South Signal Cabin (2017).
Kyee Myin Daing North Signal Cabin.
Insein Signal Cabin.
Mingalardon Signalling.
Pa Ywet Seit Gone Signalling.

[Text amended, links to pictures added: 22-May-2017]