The Gokteik railway Viaduct, one of the worlds great engineering masterpieces and another one of my life’s boxes ticked. Even non technical Kate was fascinated with this one.

Constructed as a kit of parts by Pennsylvania & Maryland Bridge Construction Co in the US. in 1899. Erected over the Gohtwin Stream which is located in a steep sided valley in eastern Shan State, NE Myanmar. Amazingly erection of the viaduct took only 8 months. There are 15 towers with the tallest point being 102 metres above the stream bed. Opened on 1-1 1900. Two passenger trains cross it daily in daylight hours. The Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw section of the line which includes the crossing of the Gokteik Viaduct is very popular with overseas tourists. There is a small station on the western side of the viaduct which the train stops at briefly to enable passengers to step off and take images.

Myanmar in the long dry season appears to be covered by an inversion layer which keeps in the smoke from rice stubble and grass fires. You will note in these images hazy light, even up here at altitude in eastern Shan State. Myself, coming from a nation which has mostly very clear air the smoky air took a bit of getting used to.

Attached images illustrate the length, height, method of construction and the current excellent condition of the structure. Look at all those formed hot rivets. Fortunately being a very long way from the sea and in a mostly dry climate corrosive action is virtually nil.

Gokteik Viaduct -10

Pyin Oo Lwin next page