Construction to start once ADB funding secure
THE Ministry of Public Works and Transport plans to begin work next year on a new railway station intended as a major node in Cambodia’s revamped rail network.
Samrong Railway Station, which will be built on 98 hectares in Dangkor district on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, will cost US$64 million and be partly funded by a $42 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Ministry Undersecretary of State Yeuth Bonna said.
The project had been approved by the ADB, but the government was waiting for funds to be allocated before it began construction, he added.
“Once the ADB approves our loan proposal, we will start on soil studies at the site, aiming to begin the construction in mid-2010 with the goal of completing the project in 2012,” he said, adding that the government would pay $22 million.
An older station of the same name presently occupies part of the location, at the junction of two major rail lines, one stretching towards Thailand and the other to Sihanoukville. However, the improved facilities would allow for up to 70 train cars at a time, Yeuth Bonna said.
Cambodia has signed the Trans-Asia Railway agreement intended to link the countries of Asia and Europe by rail. Cambodia is to host a key segment of a line from Kunming, China, to Singapore via countries in the Mekong Delta.
Repair work intended to return regular train service to the Kingdom is to be completed by 2013, though a proposed line to Vietnam is still in the earliest planning stages.
Yeuth Bonna said Australian company Toll Holdings, designated concessionaire of the revamped railway, is gradually emplacing administrative structure to ease the eventual transition to operation. Toll Holdings did not return requests for comment.
Some of the land earmarked for the new station was not under the control of the railroad, said Touch Phin, Chief of Samrong Krom Commune. “We are negotiating with villagers to make the land available, but the problem has not yet been solved,” he said.