Passenger trains resume services in Cambodia after 14 years

| Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 11:20
First Published |
Hun Sen

Resumption of passenger train services was made after successful operation of trial run | Photo: IANS

Phnom Penh: Cambodia's passenger train services resumed regular operations between capital Phnom Penh and southwestern Sihanoukville on Saturday after a 14-year hiatus.

In a bid to promote the country's railways, Prime Minister Hun Sen boarded the first train, which ran on the 266-km railroad from the capital to the coastal province, Xinhua news agency reported.

John Guiry, CEO of the Royal Railway, said the resumption of passenger train services was made after the successful operation of a nine-day trial run early this month.

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The services from Phnom Penh to and from Sinanoukville will be operated on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, departing Phnom Penh at 7.00 a.m., with two stops in the provinces of Takeo and Kampot, he said, adding that the train from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh also departs at 7.00 a.m.

"The one-way ticket price is $6," he said, adding "The wagons can accommodate over 200 passengers and the full journey may take around 7 hours."

Standard cars are equipped with fans, while VIP cars sport air-conditioners, he added.

The Southeast Asian nation has two lines of railroads. One southern line connects Phnom Penh to the seaport of Sihanoukville, and the other line in the north stretches from Phnom Penh to Poipet city and to Thailand in the distance of 385 km.

The two lines, which had been built between 1929 and 1969, were damaged during decades of civil war.

In 2009, the Asian Development Bank and development partners provided $141 million to the country for the rehabilitation of the two rail networks.

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