The new rail line between Phnom Penh International Airport and the railway station on Monivong Boulevard is scheduled to open on April 10, according to government and Royal Railways officials.
Hoeurn Somnieng, deputy director of the cabinet at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, said the infrastructure for the project was mostly completed, with only a few small tasks remaining.
“It will reduce traffic congestion and reduce the time for travelling from the centre of the city to the airport,” Somnieng said yesterday.
The service will be free for the first two-and-a-half months before it transitions to a fare-based system, according to Royal Railways CEO John Guiry, who declined to provide the future price but said it would be cheaper than a tuk-tuk or taxi.
“We will try to get many people using it and see what it is like and experience it,” Guiry said, adding that the 10-kilometre trip would take between 22 and 30 minutes – less time than an average tuk-tuk or car ride from the city centre to the airport would take.
Imported from Mexico
While Royal Railways eventually plans to install three train engines imported from Mexico, delays in the procurement process caused the company to start by using two existing carriages with a capacity of between 110 and 130 passengers. Once operations begin, the train cars will depart from the station every 25 minutes, according to Guiry.
“We run the test train for about three to four weeks, and then the train imported from Mexico will take over in late April or early May,” he said.