Steam in Burma


This DVD is now ready and it's a long one!

Email me if you would like to order this DVD for £15 + postage - click here.

With a primary focus on working steam on real trains, this DVD covers the final steam workings in Burma on mixed trains (from Bago and Pyuntaza) and block freight trains of stone, salt and sugar cane (various locations) on the national network now know as Myanmar Railways (formerly Burma Railways) as well as steam locos on the Burma Mines Railway and (briefly) stationary steam engines in use in rice mills. Footage was filmed in 1999 with additional footage from 1998 (non-digital) and 2006 (Burma Mines footage by Martin Wollmann).

• Insein Works, Rangoon
• Bago Shed
• Bago – Nyuangkashe Mixed
• Mokpalin Shed
• Mokpalin – Bago Stone Train
• Pyuntaza Shed
• Pyuntaza – Madauk Mixed
• Stationary steam in the rice mills
• Mottama – Bago Salt Train
• Sugar Cane Trains
• Cab riding on classes YB and YC
• Burma Mines Railway No. 13 and No. 42
Total Running Time: 107 mins
(1998 17 mins, 1999 65 mins, Burma Mines 25 mins)

Locos seen include classes YB, YC, YD locos in action, class D MAWD 2-8-2, ST class 2-6-4T, GC Garratt and SL3 0-6-0ST out of use or plinthed and Kerr Stuart Huxley Class No. 13 and Bagnall No. 42 both in use on the 2ft Burma Mines Railway. In addition, permanent way vehicles (including a Wickham armoured railcar) MR diesels and railcars (with final drive using rubber tyres) also appear.

This DVD attempts to capture the visual spectacle of real steam in Burma. You can’t really write ‘exciting’ in the context of Burmese steam as, in recent years, steam trains typically shuffled along flat branches and main lines with plenty of clanking but little chuff. However, the ‘English’ signal boxes and signals, the bucolic rural surroundings and the local people in traditional dress make for some visually very attractive scenes.

The steam-hauled mixed trains, stone trains, sugar cane and salt trains are now mainly a thing of the past. Steam survives (just) on some freight trains centred on Bago with perhaps more running on the Bago – Yangon section than in the past (see for the latest report I am aware of dated June 2007). Charters on the Burma Mines Railway with No. 13 and No. 42 are also still possible. Farrail has the latest report on a visit to Burma Mines in 2007.

Co-incidentally, Burma is in the world news for a natural disaster where the extent of the damage and the human suffering are massive and still unfolding. Listening to the news, one wonders how aid can swiftly reach those who need it given the relations the ruling military junta has with most of the rest of the world. A friend who worked for the British Council in Rangoon for 3 years has recommended donating via the International Burmese Monks Organization which promises to get aid to those who need it. If you would like to donate or just learn more about this alternative aid route, see

This is not a hotlink. You need to type this into your email To: line.


Go to the DVD list
Back to my Index Page