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Chinese outfit moots two new railway lines

A worker inspects train tracks at the Phnom Penh railway station earlier this year.
A worker inspects train tracks at the Phnom Penh railway station earlier this year. Hong Menea

Chinese outfit moots two new railway lines

A Chinese engineering firm has proposed adding a pair of new railway lines to Cambodia’s fledgling rail infrastructure, with the Ministry of Transportation saying they’re interested – if the company can pay for it.

Representatives from Jiangxi International (Cambodia) Ltd met with Transportation Minister Sun Chanthol on Monday and expressed interest in conducting feasibility studies for two new lines – one running from Banteay Meanchey’s Sisophon town to Siem Reap and one from Phnom Penh to Bavet in Svay Rieng.

“We don’t have the budget or cannot get a loan for building these [lines], but we welcome any companies who are going to use a build-operate-transfer [model],” said ministry spokesman Ly Borin.

Cambodia already has two existing railway lines – Phnom Penh to Sisophon and Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville – with only the latter being used for passenger and goods transport.

The northern line’s rehabilitation has been plagued with hurdles after the Asian Development Bank’s internal watchdog found the bank had flouted its own rules when it came to resettling affected villagers.

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