Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia, Thailand push ahead with railway line

Cambodia, Thailand push ahead with railway line

Cambodia, Thailand push ahead with railway line

Cambodia and Thailand have agreed to push ahead with completion of a railway line from Bangkok to Phnom Penh, with the two countries signing a memorandum of understanding during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to the neighbouring country last week.

The long-delayed project is part of the eastern corridor of the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link, a key link in increasing connectivity among ASEAN member states.

The Cambodian government will focus on completing a 6.5-kilometre railway stretch between Poipet and Sisophon by midyear 2016, according to Ly Borin, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation.

“First, we will connect the missing tracks on our side to reach the border of Thailand,” he said.

The government, he said, will look at running trains on the 6.5-kilometre stretch late next year, after which they will work with the Thai government on connecting the rail networks of the two countries.

“After the connection is ready, we will discuss the procedures to have a train run across countries, but currently it is important to connect the tracks first,” Borin said.

After completion of the 6.5-kiolmetre railway line, Borin said they will also look at running trains from Phnom Penh to Sisophon, as well as look into the possibility of having trains to Singapore.

The railway line, a project funded by the Asian Development Bank in 2010, hit a few hurdles when the development bank’s internal watchdog found that they had flouted their own safeguards when it came to resettlement of Cambodians affected by the project.

“We will have a discussion with local authorities on Monday to address the issue of people affected by the project, in order to be ready for construction early next year,” said Borin, adding that the ADB will be involved in the process as well.

Ho Vandy, an adviser to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, said train transportation is a new avenue for Cambodians, adding that it was less costly, safer and enabled the movement of goods as well.

“This project will help push the setting up of Cambodian railways faster, and is important given that we are close to AEC.”

He added that the new connection will increase tourist arrivals from Thailand, who will have another travel option once the railway line is completed.

The railways, he said, will also give Cambodians a low-cost and quicker option of travelling to Thailand, be it for business or pleasure.

According to state-run media AKP, the two governments also signed agreements to open two new international checkpoints in Banteay Meanchey, as well as develop special economic zones along the Banteay Meanchey-Sa Keo and Koh Kong-Trat borders.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Tottenham Hotspur to wear ISF Cambodia logo on jerseys in match against Sheffield United

    Last year, the Indochina Starfish Foundation (ISF) – an NGO providing education to underprivileged children in Cambodia – made global headlines with its “socially distanced” football initiative. This year, a world-class football club – Tottenham Hotspur FC – will wear special edition jerseys to show their support for ISF

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American