Narrow Gauge Expedition Tour 4days
Travel Style: Train Tours From Yangon
Itinerary: Yangon – Lashio – Namtu – Nashai – Namyao – Nashai – Lashio – Mandalay
In the course of time, steams locomotives are getting rare if not otherwise almost extinct in the world today. In Myanmar, about 40 steam locomotives are believed to be in service mostly on cargo routes. Main types are of YB, YC and YD. The rare ST series have been ceased operation for many years although a few of them are still preserved in good order. The meter gauge railways of Myanmar has always been influenced by Indian Railways and all the remaining active locos are post World War II examples. The mending work Insein, a suburb of Yangon, has responsible for the maintenance of steam locomotives and the future use of steam does not appear to be under immediate threat as 3 to 4 engines are being overhauled each year. This program will give you an opportunity to view these iron-beasts in their actual action.
Day 01 Yangon – Lashio <coach>
Afternoon flight to Lashio (Air Bagan flies three time weekly flight between Yangon and Lashio on Thu, Fri and Sundays). Afternoon depart by private coach to Namtu (approx 2 hour). Dinner and overnight at Myanmar Mine guesthouse.
Day 02 Namtu <coach>
Visit the railway shed/workshop where they have hulks of 14 and 16 (Kerr Stuart Tattoo class) and 34 and 40 (Kerr Stuart Huxley class). You may spot more boilers and various other junk in nearby bushes. Many of these were derelict or dismantled but believe there were potentially nine runners.
Observe engine No 13 starting up and later board a steam train to Wallah Grorge by 0-4-2T 13 (Kerr Stuart Huxley class, 2383/1914) normally attached to two locally made coaches. Heading on westwards from Namtu the line follows the valley for a further 2 km before turning abruptly into a side valley. From here the line climbs continuously to Bawdwin at a ruling gradient of 1 in 27, hugging the side of the valley for most of the distance. The line twists and turns continuously as it makes its way up the gorge with many spectacular views. Lopah, 8 km from Namtu, has a pretty station building, a loop and some sidings. 3.5 km further on the line reaches the spiral at Wallah Gorge in a most attractive setting overlooked by a small pagoda. On the north side of the line and at a much higher level the electrified line ends in a loop with two tipplers alongside the staithes. 1 km further on the line reaches Tiger Camp, the junction with the electrified mine lines and at an altitude of about 800 meters. The line offers spectacular views, especially around Wallah Gorge. You will be able to make several stops for runpasts as you go up. The major feature of this part of the line perhaps will be of a full spiral where you can make film to your satisfaction.
The ultimate destination will be Bawdwin, but initially you will be heading for Tiger Camp (7 miles and 800 ft higher up than Namtu). After lunch continue upwards to Bawdwin, another 4 miles and 500ft by railcar. Bawdwin lies about 3.5 km to the west of Tiger Camp but is at 180 meters higher altitude. The line onwards from Tiger Camp starts with a lengthy Z reverse high above Wallah Gorge and continues with many horseshoe bends. It has a total length of about 8 km.
Transfer by bus to Marmion shaft and observe the opencast mining and the electric winding gear for the shaft which was of British origin dating from 1925. Return to Tiger camp by railcar and then to Namtu by steam loco. Dinner and overnight at Namtu Mine guesthouse.
Day 03 Namtu – Nashai – Namyao – Nashai – Lashio <coach>
Breakfast at the guesthouse and depart by diesel loco to Nashai (approx 30 km), continue to Nanmyo where the Bagnall 2-6-2 No. 42 would be in steam to greet you. Between Namtu and Namyao the line runs mostly through undulating jungle terrain. About 3 km after Namtu it passes a ruined smelter and drops down a steep gradient into the valley of the Namtu River before crossing the river on a substantial girder bridge and entering Namtu yard. The ruling gradient throughout from Namyao is 1 in 38. Observe the steam loco No. 42 action in shunting. Later return by diesel loco back to Nashai level crossing with motor road where your driver and coach will meet you and proceed to Lashio (approx 2 hour). Overnight in Lashio.
You can have (optional with extra cost) a short run with runpasts (about 3 km east) to the location of the original ‘mill’ which was destroyed during the Second World War.
Day 04 Lashio – Mandalay
Breakfast at hotel and overland drive to Mandalay via Hsi Paw and Myin Oo Lwin (Maymyo). Highlight for the day will be to cross the Gokteik Bridge, a structure of steel trestle construction for railway line began in 1901 by Pennsylvania and Maryland Bridge Construction and completed in 1913. The second highest bridge in the world of its kind is 2260 feet long and 320 feet high viaduct was built above a deep ragged stone rock valley. The Rock itself is 550 feet high above the small river that flows under the rock. Due to its technical and natural condition it’s considered as a masterpiece of the world standard. Paul Theroux said his book “The Great Railway Bizarre” called the viaduct “a monster of silver geometry in all the ragged rock and jungle – its presence was bizarre”.
(There is an option that you will be able return to Mandalay by passenger train crossing over famous Gokehtaik viaduct by 32 down 05:30 – 19:50. Enjoy activities of passenger along the route at villages as train passes by slow down)
Don’t see the date for this tour to suit your schedule? No problems, Create Your Own Date. Choose the dates that you want to travel and as long as you happy to open the tour to other people joining we will charge you the standard tour price – no markups!
1. You must have booked and paid your deposit for travel dates that are at least 1 to 3 months in the future. This just gives us time to promote the trip and find other people to join you.
2. Create Your Own Date for this tour applies for bookings of two or more people only. If you are a solo traveller we can do our best to get a group for the dates you choose but we cannot guarantee standard pricing until we achieve a minimum of 2 people
3. This offer is subject to availability. In peak season we may not have the capability to add tour dates to our already busy schedule..
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Vietnam and Indochina has the utmost luxury hotels and other tour facilities to cater to your budget. For a budget higher than the one stated, we can make some of the following modification to your program based on your request.
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