Life at Yangon Central Railway Station

A permanent community of station employees, guards, snack sellers and the homeless call the station their home.

| | Poverty & Development, Business & Economy, Asia, Myanmar, Homeless

Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) Since its original construction in 1877, Yangon Central Railway Station has served as an important transportation link for the Burmese people.

As the railway lines grew, the station became the heart of a network of more than 5,000 kilometres of rail, connecting people from all over the country - from Upper Myanmar and the Shan Hills to the southern coast in Tanintharyi.

With this growth, the station has also given rise to a populace of short and long-term residents, ranging from passing travellers who continue their journeys the next day to a permanent community of station employees, guards, snack sellers and the homeless.

Yangon Central Railway Station has been a designated landmark building in Myanmar and thousands of people pass through its platforms and terminal each day.

Each night, a number of these people set out mats or find places to sleep on the station's benches. For this community, life in the station comes with a few perks.

Permanent guards offer security to residents. Running water, not always available at homes in Yangon, is accessible for bathing and drinking. There are also charging ports for electronics.

However, for the station's more permanent residents, life might soon be upended. Myanma Railways has plans to redevelop the area with "rail concerned business, high-rise building, comprehensive development and transport systems".

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