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Thailand Hopes to Rebuild WWII Rail

September 08, 1996|ASSOCIATED PRESS

Thailand hopes to attract tourists and improve trade by rebuilding the notorious World War II "Death Railway" between Bangkok and Rangoon, Burma (now Myanmar).

The plan is still in its early stages, but Interior Ministry officials said recently that they hope Japan and the Allied nations will help finance the project.

Tens of thousands of Allied POWs and Asian slave laborers were believed to have died while building the railway for Japan, events portrayed in the 1957 film "The Bridge on the River Kwai." Of the original route, only 72 miles remain operative.

"This railway has been known by people all over the world," said Prawit Jenweeranon, an Interior Ministry advisor. "We want to maintain it to help promote peace."

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