Although known as Konyu cutting by the Japanese Army, Hellfire Pass was built by POW and Civilian labour during WWII. The pass is located a remote part of the the Tenasserim Hills and was a particularly difficult section of line to build.
The pass was cut from the rock with very limited mechanical tools and with heavy loss of life ,using only picks and shovels, hammers and sticks of gelignite almost the entire pass was drilled, blasted and cleared by hand..
It was known as Hellfire Pass because of the continual hammering noise and the flickering light from smoky fires, oil fired bamboo torches and carbide lamps which created a scheme that looked like a living image of hell.
Work on the cutting started in April 1943, groups of men worked around the clock on 16-18 hour shifts to complete excavation of the 17m deep and 110m long cutting through solid limestone and quartz rock in only 12 weeks.
The museum was opened on 24 April 1998.