A 60-km section of the Phnom Penh-Poipet rail line that will link Cambodia with Thailand has been completed, Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol announced. The completed section links Poipet and Mongkol Borey, a district in Banteay Meanchey, south of provincial capital Sisophon. The section is now ready to be tested, with trial runs likely to happen before the Khmer New Year (14 April), according to the Cambodian Transportation minister. The Sisophon to Poipet segment was originally scheduled to be completed by mid-2016, but was pushed back several times due to legal hurdles, persistent rain and land disputes.
The next phases of the rail project will see the construction of Mongkol Borey to Battambang; Battambang to Pursat; and Pursat to Phnom Penh sections. We expect the railroad connecting Pursat to Phnom Penh will be completed in June of this year, Va Sim Sorya, director general at the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation, said, adding that much of the last segment of track would be renovated rather than replaced.
The new railway services due to come online in April will be free for all passengers during their first month of operation, according to a representative of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
A new train service linking Battambang and Poipet, in the border with Thailand, is scheduled to launch operations next month. It is part of a wider project known as the western rail line, which will eventually connect Phnom Penh and Bangkok, via Thailands Aranya Pratet in the border.
In addition, a new train will soon allow commuters to travel from downtown Phnom Penh to the capitals international airport.
Both lines will allow passengers to travel for free in their inaugural month, which includes Khmer New Year in mid-April, one of the countrys busiest holiday periods, according to Chan Kimleng, director of the railway department.
We wont charge a fare during the first month, including Khmer New Year, Mr Kimleng explained. We will even try to make the service free until the general elections, if possible.
He said the promotion will exclusively apply to passengers, and that those wanting to transport cargo will have to pay.
The price of a regular ticket has yet to be decided, Mr Kimleng explained.
The section of the western rail line that runs from Battambang to Phnom Penh is scheduled for completion in July. The line will be connected to Thailands railway network, via Aranya Pratet, before the end of the year, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, despite a delay in a shipment of train carriages, the rail line that will connect the city of Phnom Penh with its airport is on course to be operational by Khmer New Year.
There was a delay in the shipment of the carriages, which are being sent from Mexico. To make the deadline in April, we will use older carriages that we already have in our possession. They will be replaced by the new ones when they arrive.
The passenger train service from Poipet to Sisophon in Banteay Meanchey province will be put in trial operation on April 4 under the presidency of Senior Minister and Minister of Public Works and Transport H.E. Sun Chanthol.
According to H.E. Ly Borin, Under Secretary of State for Public Works and Transport in charge of railways, passengers will have access to this trial train service with free of charge from April 4 to July 31, 2018.
The Poipet-Sisophon railway section is 48 kilometres long with six stations Poipet, Kob, Sophy, Sala Krahom, Tek Tla, Sisophon.
During this trial period, only a passenger wagon and a freight wagon will be operated, three times a day back and forth between the two destinations, from 7:00 am to 05:15 pm.
On the other hand, railway construction from Phnom Penh to Poipet will be completed by the end of this year to resume the Northern Lines operation. This 337-kilometre-long Northern Line was originally built and in operation between 1929 and 1942, during the French colonial era.
Besides the Northern Line, the Southern Line of 256 kilometres long from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, Preah Sihanouk province, has been already renovated and put into operation.
The western railway service in Banteay Meancheay. Supplied
The Transportation Ministry is launching two transportation services this week in order to accommodate those traveling ahead of Khmer New Year.
The western railway service in Banteay Meancheay province, stretching about 48km beween Poipet and Serey Sophorn, will become operational as of today while the water taxis from Preak Pnov in northern Phnom Penh to Takmao city in Kandal province will start on Friday.
Ministry spokesman Va Simsorya said the services were Khmer New Year gifts for the Cambodian people.
The rail service, run by Royal Railways, will be free until the end of July, while the ministry-controlled water taxi service will be the same.
There are five stations along the 25km waterway from Preak Pnov to Takmao and the service will take an average 35 minutes, Mr Simsorya said.
We set the deadline for launching the water taxi service, so we have a race against time to finish construction and launch the service on April 6, Mr Simsorya said.
Once operational, three boats will be used at a time out six boats. Each can carry 60 passengers.
We have not decided the boat fares yet, Mr Simsorya said.
The new water taxi operating from Prek Pnov to Takmao. Supplied
Minister Sun Chanthol said last month that discussion of water taxi fares would be continuing. For sure, the water taxi fares will be affordable as are city bus fares, he said.
In the first stage, the water taxi service would be under the management of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.
But Mr Chanthol said that after a while, management would be handed over to Phnom Penh Municipal authorities.
Waterway transport will vitally contribute to dealing with mainland traffic congestion and traffic accidents, and particularly will save time, he said.
Mr Chanthol is due to preside over the launch of the Poipet-Serey Sophorn railway service.
Chan Kimleng, director of the ministrys railway department, said the service was for both national and foreign passengers.
Passengers need to claim their free tickets at stations, he said, adding that there would be three services per day.
The ministry and Royal Railways are also racing to get the Phnom Penh International Airport rail link into service before Khmer New Year in the middle of this month. The service will also be free for the first three months.
PHNOM PENH, April 4 (Xinhua) -- Cambodia's passenger train services resumed regular operations between Poipet and Serey Sophorn in northern Banteay Meanchey province on Wednesday after a 45-year hiatus, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said.
The railway service runs a total of 48 km from Poipet bordering Thailand to Serey Sophorn with four stops, he said, adding that the train's average speed is 40 km per hour.
"This is the first time in 45 years that the train services between Poipet and Serey Sophorn have resumed after this rail track was destroyed during the wartime," he said.
The rehabilitation of the 48-km stretch cost more than 21 million U.S. dollars, the minister said.
He added that the new rail service will be free of charge to passengers from April 4 to July 31, so as to introduce this new service to the public.
Meanwhile, Chanthol said the ongoing rehabilitation of the 385-km rail track between Poipet city and capital Phnom Penh was expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The Southeast Asian nation has two lines of railroads. The 266-km southern line connects Phnom Penh to the seaport of Sihanoukville, and the 385-km northern line runs from Phnom Penh to Poipet city.
The two lines, which had been built between 1929 and 1969, were damaged during decades of civil war.
In 2016, the passenger train services between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville resumed after a 14-year suspension due to poor railway conditions.
Cambodian workers exit a train at Aranyaprathet railway station in Sa Kaeo. Passenger trains began operating Wednesday between the nearby border town of Poipet and Sisophon, a Cambodian provincial capital. (Bangkok Post file photo)
A missing 48-kilometre stretch of railway that connects the capital Phnom Penh to the Thai border has been rebuilt, 45 years after it was destroyed in the 1970s during the Cambodian civil war.
Passenger trains began operating Wednesday between the border town of Poipet and Sisophon, a Cambodian provincial capital.
There are plans to offer passenger train service eventually from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, although no date has been set. Cambodian minister of transport Sun Chanthol said negotiations with Thailandon a border-related matter are yet to be finalised.
Some parts of the railroad between Sisophon and Phnom Penh also remain under renovation, work expected to be completed later this year.
The railway link, completed in February, adds a new transportation route to the hitherto road-based Southern Economic Corridor, which links Bangkok via Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam.
@T2commuter A bit of history in Cambodia today with the first trains in 45 years running from the Thai border at Poipet to Sisophon since the Khmer Rouge ripped up the tracks in 1973.
4:38 PM - Apr 4, 2018
A 386-kilometre stretch of railroad between Phnom Penh and Poipet was completed in 1942 after 13 years of work. But the 48-km stretch between Sisophon and the border town of Poipet was heavily damaged in 1973.
In 2009, the Asian Development Bank provided $13 million for rebuilding a 42-km segment of it, leaving the Cambodian government to rebuild the remaining 6-km portion.
That segment was originally to be completed by mid-2016, but delayed several times by legal hurdles and land disputes with those living along the railway, according to Vasim Sorya, director general of the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation.
Banteay Meanchey (FN), April 4 - Poipet-Serey Sophorn railroad, which had been cut off for 40 years due to war, has been officially resumed on Wednesday with free of charge for four months, effective from today until August 1, 2018.
The official launch was presided over by Sun Chanthol, Minister of Public Works and Transport, attended by Lim Sary, Deputy Governor of Banteay Meanchey, and San Sean Ho, Poipet Governor.
The 386 km Phnom Penh-Poipet railroad was built from 1929 to 1942. Unfortunately, the part of Serey Sophorn-Poipet railroad was destroyed and completely cut off by the 1973.
According to Sun Chanthol, restoration of the railroad were divided into two phases, as in 2009, the government restored the railway, with a length of 42 km, costing $13 million under ADB loan, and in 2015, the government linked and extended the 6.5-km Cambodian-Thai railroad, costing about $8.6 million.
Sun Chanthol said the restoration of the railroad focuses on all forms of transportation, internal and regional integration, linking Cambodia's railway to other railways in the ASEAN region.
Phnom Penh (FN), June 15 - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday afternoon requested Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-O-Cha to speed up Cambodia-Thai cross-border railroad transportation and openings of two international border checkpoints in Banteay Meanchey and Sa Kaeo provinces.
Prime Minister Hun Sen congratulated the increase of bilateral trade volume from $5.6 billion in 2016 to $6.1 billion in 2017; the premier hoped to achieve bilateral trade volume up to $15 billion by 2020 through the attractions of Thai investors to Cambodia and signing of the Draft Memorandum of Understanding on transported goods.
The Royal Government of Cambodia thanked the Thai side for providing a locomotive to Cambodia; and for facilitating the legalization for Cambodian workers. Cambodia will endeavor to provide legitimacy to Thai workers in Cambodia by June 2018.
In a statement issued on June 21, 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said a number of important issues have been reached with regard to connection between the two countries and they include: (1) by road, it was agreed to launch two more border-crossing points; one at Steung Bot and the other at Nong Ean, while the already existing border-crossings of An Seh, Phnom Dey, Phnom Da and Chub Koki will be upgraded to international checkpoints. The other areas of Aur Neang and Ban Paray will be examined and cleared of landmines in preparation to be launched as border-crossings after Steung Bot; (2) as for rail road, efforts will be made for transport services between Bangkok and Phnom Penh to be available by the end of 2016; and (3) for maritime transportation, there will be a joint project to connect the coasts of Cambodia Thailand and Vietnam that will open up for transport of cargos and tourists in the near future.
Cambodia-Thai leaders have strengthened their friendship, solidarity, and cooperation by ensuring peace at the borders between the two countries.
The premier led a delegation to attend the 8th ACMECS and will also chair the 9th Summit of Cambodia-Laos PDR-Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) to be held from June 15-16, 2018 in Thailand. He will also have separate bilateral meetings with Prime Minister of Thailand, of Laos, and of Vietnam. He is scheduled to return on June 16, 2018.
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