Duyinzeik-Thaton (Burma) Tramway

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Duyinzeik-Thaton (Burma) Tramway
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Line of route
Thaton to Duyinzeik
Gauge / mileage
2' 6" NG 8 miles (1905)
1883 Line opened
Key locations
Presidency Bengal, Burma
Stations Thaton, Duyinzeik
System agency
1885 Own agency
How to interpret this infobox

The Duyinzeik-Thaton (Burma) Tramway was a steam tramway, built in 1883 that was still in apparently in operation in 1921.

Sometimes described as the Thaton-Duyinzaik Light Railway , the 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) line was originally built and worked by Mr. George Dawson of Rangoon. From Thaton, the railway extended 8 miles east alongside a public road through jungle to Duyinzaik, connecting with a daily launch service also operated by Mr. Dawson to Moulmein [1].

The Imperial Gazetteer of India states "The capital cost of construction up to the end of 1895, the last year for which capital and revenue accounts were submitted, was nearly 4½ lakhs. By an agreement entered into between Government and the original owner {Mr George Dawson} in January 1884, a subsidy of Rs.1,000 per mile was paid for three years after the date of opening on condition that a proper service be maintained, and for ten years Government kept up all the bridges on the line. From December 1900 the tramway passed into the hands of the 'Irrawaddy Flotilla Company'. The receipts amounted in 1903 to Rs.32,000. In all 34,362 persons travelled by tramway in that year" [2].
The background to the change of ownership of this tramway, or for how long this arranement existed, has not been determined.

The Imperial Gazetteer of India in 1908 states "The tramway , 8 miles long, built in 1883, runs along a metalled road from Thaton, the district headquarters on the west bank of the Donthami river, whence a steam-launch plies on weekdays to Moulmein. The tramway plays an important part in the carriage of paddy" [3].

The Royal Museums, Greenwhich have Photographic Album No ALB0298; Negative number: B2726(F) 79. Date c.1914‘Locomotive engine built at Dick Kerr & Co’s Works Kilmarnock 1901 – Thaton-Duyinzeik Railway [Shows the left side of a 0-6-0 Kerr 2ft 6ins gauge 18 tons locomotive with its 2-axle tender and looking pretty new – Photograph taken in a workshop, probably in Burma’[4]. This record has not been examined

The 1921 book “Burma: A Handbook of Practical Information" by Sir J G Scott confirms the tramway was still in operation ‘In the Salween basin there are launches running daily from Moulmein to Duyinzeik in conjunction with a steam tramway from there to Thaton [5].

There is an unconfirmed report that the four NG steam locomotives that worked this line were transferred to the Madaya Light Railway on the ‘closure of the line’, possibly in 1907. However the statement mentioned above indicates that in 1921 the tramway was in service.

Later Developments

It would appear that the line of this abandoned tramway was upgraded and extended to Myaingalay; reported in 1988 as a ‘new branch Thaton – Myaingalay, with a line length of 38.3 km’ [6]. Myaingalay is the location of the cement plant at Myaing Ka Kay

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