Trams return to Burma – with just RM17m funding


With just US$3.88m (RM17m) funding under a Japanese investment agreement, Burma has brought back the trams to Yangon after 100 years.

The tram depot, power station and 6.6 kilovolt power line reportedly cost 143m Burmese kyat (RM0.5m). The tram far is 100 kyat or 35 sen.

Japan helped with technology and training.

No fancy multibillon ringgit plans, no land swap deals, no massive land reclamation rights handed over to developers.

Granted this not a comprehensive solution. But it is a simple and affordable first step – 4.8km for a start – in improving transport infrastructure in phases (the tram line will be extended later this year and then connected to the railway system). This is in keeping with what the nation can afford as it continues its democratisation process.

All this reminds me of what retired Australian tram engineer Ric Francis had proposed for George Town. What happened to his low-budget proposal?

Ric Francis' proposed tram route 2015

The result: poverty-stricken Burma has brought back the trams ahead of Malaysia. See the full report in Myanmar Times

The problem is that over here, we seem to prefer expensive mega projects and fat contracts. The more billions, the better it would seem.

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hk tram has been running for more than 50 years and yet no comment. does it mean no malaysians shown interest in efficient transport in hong kong but full of admiration in yangon? take a ride to see fellow hokkiens in north point terminal. the tram from end to end is alightly over a dollar but bus ride does burnt for thd same trip. okay if you are on hols or retired not in a rush. but any tram ride is slow and they all come in at the same timd due to blocking effect like buses. if hk trams… Read more »

gk ong

Anil and gang can gather at Line Clear for nasi kandar before the stall is closed for good.


Meanwhile in Singapore, in a decisive step towards making cycling one of the Republic’s key transport modes, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) will be studying how to turn the impending North-South Expressway (NSE) into a North-South Corridor. The reconfiguration will feature a 21.5-km cycling trunk route into the city that spans the entire corridor, as well as dedicated bus lanes for express bus services serving the corridor, and wide walking paths along the surface corridor with greenery for shade. It’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (formerly a Penangites) said: “Cities designed to encourage active mobility, such as walking and… Read more »


See the illustration how the walking and cycling paths will be built along the entire Singapore’s North-South corridor, where one of the lanes will be dedicated to buses:


Penang copied SKorea bike lane in green. Only difference is in Penang, green lane meant for bicycle inevitably used by pedestrians or motorbike for convenience sake as there is no special allocated lanes for motor bike or pedestrians.

Advice for those islanders never risk your life riding bicycle on congested roads.


Malaysians are simply to ashamed to learn from Singapore.


The state spent RM330 million merely to do a “feasibility study and detailed design” on the Penang Tunnel project.
This astronomical amount would have been better invested in tram transportation network which has more economic spin off benefits now than the tunnel vision that may never be realised at all the wasted costs of a CAT accountant’s fancies.
Read to judge for yourself:
Is Penang’s outstanding economic stewardship a mirage?

gk ong

Ric Francis would have made a tidy sum as Tram proposer in Myanmar. He chose the wrong place. 😉


Maybe, Ric Francis has no ‘connection’ inside Komtar Tower.
This is reality when you want to deal with politicians, no matter from which political divide.
Bo lo, bo kang thau.


Tingling, the Penang food museum at Beach Street next to CIMB may have followed your street food museum concept you proposed way back in this blog. They even have a replica of chemical in the front. Do you receive royalty if you copyrighted your ideas?
Otherwise they may create a replica of kopi o kau next!


Its Myanmar no more colonial sounding But nah, may Anil correct the headline. Cheers.


The older generation studied geography in LCE/MCE when it was Burma long before it became Myanmar. Time has changed and LCE has became and then SRP then PMR, causing irreversible damage to our education system along the way.


Too cheap. We can consider if it is 17 billion.


Ric Francis would be very delighted of Penang gomen can engage Japanese to fund such tram project in Penang.

Btw, AirAsia now fly direct from Penang to Yangon with launch offer of RM99 deal. May be Anil fan club can organise one outing to Myanmar, with Anil may be can get discounts for the fans via his connection with the airline e.g. provide advertisement space for Airasia in this blog?


Anil pls dont say its funny. should move on to foster good rapport among supporters by having live physical gatherings (may not in Burmah why not start in Penang?). The blog has gained prominence this week with endorsement from The Sun’s Dato Goh Ban Lee, and with the passions from regular like Tunglang we should witness The Force To Be With making positive changes to the truly sustainably green & clean (no corruption as well) in Penang !


Mr Anil, please dont say it is funny, pls take in ads, you need to live, you need to makan minum, your family too. You cant rely on contributions from the readers, you die la Anil. It is not a sin to take in ads. It is proper and a decent thing to do, trust me for once, will you, Anil ? We all love you !!! Tq !!!

gk ong

Kadir Jasin said Najib’s camp is buying up news portal like Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider.

There is always a possibility that they could offer to sponsor influential blogs like