Goteik Viaduct – the Highest Railway Bridge in Myanmar
The Goteik viaduct is a railway trestle which is situated in the western Shan State, Myanmar connects two towns of Pyin Oo Lwin (known as the summer capital of the former British colonial administrators of Burma) and Lashio (a town of Shan State). The bridge is considered as the highest bridge in Myanmar and the largest railway trestle in the world.
Starting construction in 1989, the bridge was finally completed in 1900. Its components was designed and made by the Pennsylvania Steel Company and shipped overseas from the US.
Stretching 689 metres (2,260 feet) from end to end, there are 15 towers spanning 12 metres (39 feet), together with a 24 – metre (79 feet) long double tower. These towers support 10 deck truss spans of 37 metres (121 feet) along with six plate girder spans 18 metres (59 feet) long, and an approach span of 12 metres (39 feet). It is mentioned in many other sources that the height of the bridge is at 250 metres (820 feet) which is supposedly a measurement to the river level due to its flow underground through a tunnel at the point where it passes underneath the trestle. Therefore, the true height of the bridge has to be measured from the rail deck to the ground on the downstream side of the tallest tower, is 102 metres (335 feet).
Not only is the Goteik Viaduct pretty impressive by itself since the train running on the railway slowly passes along green fields, lush hills and one of the most stunning views of Myanmar nature which you can’t experience anywhere else, but also are the destinations along the route most definitely worth to spend a few days of your time to experience. It is highly recommended that you could start your ride from the section that connects the beautiful hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin with Hsipaw which is known for an ideal place for trekking opportunities.
Pyin Oo Lwin is located about 1.5 hours driving by car from the city of Mandalay. It is even more worthwhile to head to Pyin Oo Lwin a day before the train ride to explore the surroundings of this place like walking around the town or hiking to beautiful Anisakan Waterfalls and immersing yourself in the refresh and cool water.
For many visitors, this train ride could be a highlight of the trip, but for those who are fear of heights or fainted -heart, you should consider move out this attraction from your list.