Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Revamped railway set for October restart: Toll

Revamped railway set for October restart: Toll

Revamped railway set for October restart: Toll

Australian logistics company Toll Holdings, which will manage the revived railway, aims to significantly expand rail services

There is a lot of work happening on the track at the moment. The critical date is october 1."

THE first day of October has been billed as the date when commercial rail operations are to recommence between Kampot and Phnom Penh, according to the regional director of Australia’s largest trucking and freight company Toll Holdings Ltd (THL), the firm that will eventually manage the renovated Cambodian railway.

Speaking after the signing of Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) US$42 million supplementary funding agreement for the rehabilitation of Cambodia’s dilapidated rail network Tuesday, THL’s Brian Warry said he wanted the first commercial train to run between the two towns in just seven months time.

THL will operate trains on the network, while the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation acts as an executing agency, responsible for developing railway infrastructure and stations.

“There is a lot of work happening on the track at the moment,” he said. “The critical date is October 1, when the section of rail from Kampot and Phnom Penh is due to be finished in order to begin some modest train operations.”

Warry added that he hopes the setup of the railway will become an “entry point” for THL to widen its operations in the country. He said wanted THL to cover logistical activities such as warehousing, road transportation and freight-boarding. The firm operates a small business in the Kingdom providing offshore oil and gas support.

Cambodian officials were positive about extra funding for the Kingdom’s railways.

Minister of Economy Keat Chhon said after the signing ceremony that the supplementary funding will be used to partially upgrade 254 kilometres of line from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and 338 kilometres from Phnom Penh to Sisophon, for construction of new rail links to the container port in Sihanoukville and two dry ports in Phnom Penh, building of new freight facilities on the outskirts of Phnom Penh and to provide institutional support and capacity building.

According to an ABD press release, the entire system will be operational by 2013.

Kunio Senga, ADB director general for the Southeast Asia Department, said the upgraded rail network will position Cambodia as a subregional transport hub, creating new jobs and business opportunities in the manufacturing and logistical services sectors.

The agreement consists of a $42 million supplementary loan from ADB and a $21.5 million grant from the Australian government through the Australian Agency for International Development.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $141.6 million of which ADB’s loan accounts for $84 million and an OPEC fund for international development loan accounts for $13 million. The Australian government’s grant accounts for $21.5 million, and the government of Malaysia’s donation of 106 kilometres of rail is worth $2.8 million. The Cambodian government has contributed $20 million.

The move could be a positive one for THL after its stock fell 18 percent in Sydney on February 25 after posting A$147 million (US$131 million) in earnings before items for the six months ending December 2009. Revenues fell 6 percent from a year earlier, Bloomberg reported.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’