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Thailand Wants To Rebuild ‘Death Railway’

Tue., Aug. 27, 1996, midnight

Thailand hopes to attract tourists and improve trade by rebuilding the notorious World War II railway featured in the 1957 film “The Bridge on the River Kwai.”

The plan still is in the early stages, but interior ministry officials said Monday they hope both Japan and the Allied nations will help finance reconstruction of the 280-mile connection between Bangkok and Rangoon, Burma - once called the “Death Railway.”

Construction of the track was one of the war’s dark chapters. Some 16,000 Allied prisoners of war and more than 100,000 Asian slave laborers died of disease, malnutrition, torture and execution at the hands of Japanese troops.

Of the original route, only 72 miles remain operative.

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