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Thai rail link complete

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Cambodian transport personnel look out from a train arriving at Phnom Penh railway station on Wednesday after travelling from the northwestern province of Pursat. TANG CHHIN Sothy/afp

Thai rail link complete

The railway linking Cambodia and Thailand will be inaugurated soon, with ministerial-level talks between the two nations set for Friday, Ministry of Public Works and Transportation (MPWT) spokesman Vasim Sorya said.

He told The Post on Thursday that the two sides will discuss the reconstruction and expansion of joint train stations.

“The discussions could be called the last stage before the trains can inter-operate as the connection is already complete,” he said, adding, however, that a firm time-table has not yet been set.

The line could prove especially beneficial for the shipping of freight, as it would reduce delivery time and costs, and the damage to national roads.

Ket Vibol, an importer of paper and envelopes from Thailand, said he now imports between 15 and 20 tonnes of goods per year.

“My goods are transported from factories in Bangkok to Phnom Penh, which can take three to four days. Paying for taxes and transportation costs more than $2,000,” he said, adding that he would consider using the railway to move goods as it would be cheaper.

Cambodia currently has two active rail lines. The one from Phnom Penh to Poipet town stretches 386km, while the other from the capital to Sihanoukville’s seaport is 266km long.

The line of railroad from Pursat province to Phnom Penh was completed on Wednesday and has a total length of 166km.

The Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthoi said that while the rail link between Cambodia and Thailand had been completed, the operating schedule would be decided after Friday’s talks.

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