Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen waves besides his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha as they ride a train during a ceremony to reconnect the railway line between Cambodia and Thailand on Monday. LY LAY/AFP

Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony.

On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s Khlong Luek Railway Station to Poipet Station in Banteay Meanchey province.

The connecting 386km Phnom Penh-Poipet railway line had been previously fully restored by the Cambodian government, with the expectation that it will play an important role for shipping goods between the two countries.

Cambodia is further expected to receive 140km of used track from Thailand after Bangkok gave the green light to a request made by the Kingdom, Hun Sen said during a speech on Monday.

The speech was made at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Stung Bot International Checkpoint and a newly built road connecting it to National Road 5.

The event also included a ceremony to sign a joint operation agreement on cross-border rail transport, as well as hand over a diesel multiple-unit locomotive and four passenger carriages to Cambodia.

Hun Sen said that Cambodia currently lacks the necessary steel for railway development and that Thailand has an excess of 140km of used track. He said his request for Thailand to provide Cambodia with the surplus was successful.

“We have received a positive response to my request from His Excellency Prayut Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Thai Minister of Transport. Our Thai friends have a surplus of 140km of track because Thailand’s old track was removed and was replaced with a new one. So, it is old for Thailand, but new for Cambodia,” he said.

Poipet railroad was also made from 200 tonnes of used rails donated by Malaysia, the prime minister added.

Hun Sen continued that Cambodia and Thailand will in the near future open four new international border checkpoints. These include Anses (in Preah Vihear province), Chup Koki (Oddar Meanchey province), Phnom Dei (Battambang province) and Thma Da (Pursat province) checkpoints.

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said Thailand’s positive response is good news for Cambodia, which still lacks good railroad infrastructure.

He said the prime minister’s announcement could be said to be an agreement in principle for Thailand to donate the railroad. But for such a complex task, discussions need to be led by an expert working group at a later date.

“This announcement means that in principle the Thai side is willing to give its old railroad to Cambodia,” he said.

However, regarding handover and receipt of the used railroad, Sorya said there will be more procedures requiring detailed studies, such as removing the steel from the old railroad, transportation, delivery and receiving times.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (centre) and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha (right, yellow shirt) wave to onlookers as they ride a train during the ceremony to connect the railway line between the two kingdoms. Photo supplied

According to Sorya, the average price of new railway is about $4 million per km.

During an interview with journalists at the ceremony, Minister of Public Works and Transportation Sun Chanthol said that due to the small size of the current Poipet train station, Cambodia will build a larger train station in Poipet town’s Stung Bot commune to facilitate travel and goods transportation.

“The restoration and development of transport infrastructure plays an important role in integration – internally linking the country and linking it to countries in the region and the world,” he said.

Chantol added that the construction of infrastructure at the Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian International Checkpoint will help boost economic growth, trade and investment between Cambodia and Thailand, as well as other countries in the Greater Mekong region.

The new border checkpoint will be designated for cross-border trade and business, and the current Poipet-Aranyaprathet International Checkpoint will be reserved mainly for tourism.

page 8 Continued from page 1

was replaced with a new one. So, it is old for Thailand, but new for Cambodia,” he said.

Poipet railroad was also made from 200 tonnes of used rails donated by Malaysia, the prime minister added.

Hun Sen continued that Cambodia and Thailand will in the near future open four new international border checkpoints. These include Anses (in Preah Vihear province), Chup Koki (Oddar Meanchey province), Phnom Dei (Battambang province) and Thma Da (Pursat province) checkpoints.

‘Agreement in principle’

Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said Thailand’s positive response is good news for Cambodia, which still lacks good railroad infrastructure.

He added the prime minister’s announcement could be said to be an agreement in principle for Thailand to donate the railroad. But for such a complex task, discussions need to be led by an expert working group at a later date.

“This announcement means that in principle the Thai side is willing to give its old railroad to Cambodia,” he said.

However, regarding handover and receipt of the used railroad, Sorya said there will be more procedures requiring detailed studies, such as removing the steel from the old railroad, transportation, delivery and receiving times.

According to Sorya, the average price of new railway is about $4 million per km.

During an interview with journalists at the ceremony, Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol said that due to the small size of the current Poipet train station, Cambodia will build a larger train station in Poipet town’s Stung Bot commune to facilitate travel and goods transportation.

“The restoration and development of transport infrastructure plays an important role in integration – internally linking the country and linking it to countries in the region and the world,” he said.

Chantol added that the construction of infrastructure at the Stung Bot-Ban Nong Ian International Checkpoint will help boost economic growth, trade and investment between Cambodia and Thailand, as well as other countries in the Greater Mekong region.

The new border checkpoint will be designated for cross-border trade and business, and the current Poipet-Aranyaprathet International Checkpoint will be reserved mainly for tourism.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in