Page last updated at 07:41 GMT, Thursday, 6 September 2012 08:41 UK

Pilgrims and tourists visit Bridge over the River Kwai

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The so-called "Death Railway" and its most famous section - depicted in the film, The Bridge over the River Kwai - was constructed during WWII to link Bangkok and Rangoon as Imperial Japan aimed to conquer and connect the whole of Asia.

Dutch, British and Australian prisoners of war were kept in dreadful conditions and 13,000 died building the railway, along with many more indentured Asian labourers.

Rajan Datar traces the railway's dark history and discovers new plans to unite South East Asia by rail.

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