Photographer's Note

Boarding a train on the Circular Railway in Rangoon which has been running the same route for over 60 years, feels like taking a journey into the city’s past. The train is always sardine packed because of its low cost compared to other forms of transportation and since the train mostly serves market areas, the industrial district, and farming villages on the periphery of the city. It is most often used by factory workers, street vendors and farmers freighting produce to the market. Outside the windows, landscapes of green watercress fields, garbage-filled rivers, stilted bamboo houses, the neighborhoods and activities clustered along its course are clearly developed around its infrastructure.

The train barely comes to a complete stop at each station, leaving only a few moments for passengers to enter and exit the train cars. Hordes of vendors will then rush on board to sell their wares to passengers and that's when chaos begins! This cycle repeats till the loop is completed after passing 37 stations for about four hours.

Portrait of a young fruit vendor - captured near Danyingone station, taking a much needed break sitting in the airy doorway ready for the rush off the train at the next stop.

Setting: 70mm, 1/40sec, F4.5, ISO Raw 500, 1043 hrs

Additonal picture:
Workshop1: The bigger picture
Workshop2: Choked entrance at one of the busiest station half way thru the route.


With the opening of the country and rapid development that is changing the face of downtown Rangoon now, I am sure the railway is set for major renovations in the coming years perhaps. It seems that the old train life and culture will soon be a piece of history, but In the meantime the cheap 100 kyat round-trip traditional form of transportation continues to serve the masses.

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8737 W: 136 N: 21080] (94739)
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