An airport train service running from the capital’s train station on Monivong Boulevard to the Phnom Penh International Airport started on Tuesday at a ceremony presided over by Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol.

The ride currently takes about 45 minutes and trains depart at 20-minute intervals, 24 hours a day, Chanthol said.

The trains have different designs and lengths, but each car can hold about 100 people and is equipped with seats and air conditioners.

Hundreds of small homes and shacks line parts of the 10-km track, and while riding the train today, dozens of children could be seen playing several meters from moving trains. There are no barriers or fences around the track.

According to a release from the train’s operator, Royal Railway, new train cars from Mexico are scheduled to arrive in June and will be equipped with toilets, automatic doors, WiFi, TVs and an 80 kph cruising speed, cutting travel time to and from the airport to just 25 minutes.

The airport train service will be free until July 31, at which point Royal Railway will start charging a fee. Officials at the company declined to comment yesterday about their pricing plans.