Cambodia Confirms Further Opening along the Eastern Railway

Cambodia, railways, Battambang

Carriage of Royal Railway in Cambodia (photo:Baolau)

Cambodia Ministry of Public Works and Transport (MPWT) expects to begin service on a 107-kilometre train route from Battambang to Pursat on May 29, announcing on their Facebook page that officials are actively working on restoring the track, reported Cambodia local newspaper, the Phnom Penh Post.

“Our officials are working tirelessly, both day and night, to begin the train service through the plan that will be opened in May this year,” MPWT said in its Facebook page on Sunday.

Once operational, the Battambang-Pursat line will follow on the heels of the opening of a 58-kilometre stretch between the border town of Poipet and Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkul Borey, which was inaugurated on April 29.

With Pursat and Battambang connected by rail, the ministry then plans on restoring the 134-kilometre stretch of track from Pursat to Bat Doeng, in Kampong Speu’s Oudong district.

The remaining 32 kilometres from Bat Doeng to Phnom Penh was scheduled to be completed last, and a passenger service from Phnom Penh to the Thai border at Poipet was set to be available by the end of the year, Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol said in April. The connection from Battambang to Poipet is estimated to take four to five hours.

the Phnom Penh-Battambang line was constructed in the 1930s and was even going up to Bangkok. However, the service to Thailand and Bangkok ceased in 1946 while the entire line was suspended in 2009 due to worsening condition of the rail tracks and old rolling stock.

Additionally, the minister mentioned that new railway tracks – from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Poipet, and Phnom Penh to Bavet on the Vietnam border – were also being studied by private companies. Currently, the two only full-fledged working rail lines are the one linking Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville/Kampot and the new Airport link from Phnom Penh city centre.

(Source: The Phnom Penh Post)