Tourists visiting Myanmar's largest city, Yangon, could lose one of the star attractions of the former capital after the railway that encircles the city is upgraded with the help of Japanese investment.

While the responsibility for upgrading the 46 km (28.5 miles) of track that makes up the Yangon Circular Railway rests with Myanmar Railways, the cost of new signaling and trains for the line is being met by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, which is aiming to have everything up and running by 2020.

While this may be good news for commuters — currently trains take around three hours to complete a circuit, while the new system will take less than two — tourists may not welcome the change as much, with many using the line as a way of experiencing rail travel in a less-developed setting, and seeing a cross section of life in the city's urban and rural areas at a leisurely pace.