CENTURY IMPRESSIONS OF BURMA.
and for private firms, employment sometimes being afforded for as many as 2,500 hands. The capital of the Company is A720,000, and a dividend of 15 per cent, was declared for 1908-9.
Recently the Burma River Trading Transport Company, Ltd., has been formed with a capital of 15 lakhs of rupees to compete for the traffic on the Irrawaddy and its delta, and, as it has secured contracts for carrying all the freights of the Rangoon
Refinery Company, the Rangoon Oil Company, and other large shippers, it starts under extremely favourable conditions. It is expected that by the end of 1909 the Company will have a hundred vessels on the river, all fully employed. A portion of this fleet is being built in the Companyas own yard at Kamakasit, but, owing to the necessity of speedy delivery, the majority of the vessels, at the time of writing, are being brought from England and Calcutta.
The managing agents are Messrs. Mower, Cotterell e Co., Ltd., of Rangoon.
The Arakan Flotilla Company run steamers three times a week from Akyab to Buthi-daung ; twice a week from Akyab to Palet-wa ; and once a week from Akyab to Uritoung, Yochoung, Lemasaik, and Kyauk-taw ; from Akyab to Pauktau, Minbya, Myebone, Myaungbwe, and Nagara; from Akyab to Myebone, Kyaukpyu, An, and intermediate stations ; and from Akyab to Mye-
bone, Kyaukpyu, Ramree, Sandoway, and intermediate stations. A daily service is provided from Moutigdau to Tek Naaf, Nil la, Ngakurah, Toungbyu, and Oochia.
Along the coast-line of Burma there are the following services:aThe steamers of the British India Steam Navigation Company sail three times a week from Rangoon to Moulmein in nine hours ; once a week from Rangoon to Sandoway in a day and a half, and to Kyaukpyu in two days ; and once a
fortnight from Moulmein to Yek Bar, Tavoy River, Palaw, Mergui, and Bokpyin. The steamers of the Asiatic Steam Navigation Company sail from Rangoon to Moulmein every alternate Tuesday.
The first railway in, Burma was that between Rangoon and Prome, a distance of 160 miles. The route was surveyed in 1869, the construction was begun in 1874, and the line, which is now known as the Irrawaddy section, was opened for traffic in May, 1877. Sittang Valley was next opened up, Rangoon being placed in communication with Pegu, 46 miles away, on February 27, 1884 ; with Pyuntaza, 88 miles away, in the following July ; and with Toungoo, 166 miles away, 011 July 1, 1885. Upon the outbreak of war with Upper Burma at the end of 1885 this line was rapidly carried to the frontier, and in October, 1886, its extension to Mandalay was sanctioned. Pyinmana was reached 011 May 1, 1888, and Mandalay, 386 miles from Rangoon, on March 1, 1889. In the following January the Mu Valley extension was undertaken, chiefly for strategical reasons, as, owing to the absence of communications, this portion of the country continued to be in a very disturbed state long after the annexation. The line, which starts at Sagaing on the north bank of the Irrawaddy, 12 miles below Mandalay, ends at Myitkyina, the northernmost point served by the system, and has a length of 335 miles. It was completed in February, 1899, but the section to Shvvebo was available on July 1, 1891 ; that to Wuntho in November, 1893 ; and that to Mogaung in July, 1897. The branch from Naba junction to Katha, 011 the river bank, was ready for use towards the end of 1895. In the meantime, that is to say in 1892, a short link-line of six miles had been laid from Myohaung Junction, three miles south of Mandalay, to a point on the left bank of the Irrawaddy opposite Sagaing, with which town connection was completed by means of a steam-ferry across the river. From Thazi Junction, on the Rangoon-Mandalay Line, to Meiktila cantonment, a branch line of 14 miles was built by May, 1893, and it was continued another 57 miles to Myingyan, on the Irrawaddy, in November, 1899. The earthwork was carried out as a famine-relief work in 1896-97.
An approach towards the Chinese frontier was begun in December, 1895, Lashio, the present terminus, 177 miles from Mandalay and 95 by road from the Yunnan border, being reached in March, 1903. The initial
ON THE WAY TO MAYMYO, LEAVING THE SECOND TUNNEL.ON THE WAY TO MAYMYO, LEAVING THE SECOND TUNNEL.