Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Railways set for expansion

Railways set for expansion

Railways set for expansion

Cambodian railway management and operations are to be opened up to the private sector

after a major overhaul to attract investors.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has begun a feasibility study to examine how the

rundown, under-performing railways department can be split up and restructured into

a more competitive enterprise, said Sun Chantol, Minister of Public Works and Transport.

Before this can happen, however, the country's rail network needs to be under full

rehabilitation in order to attract an investment partner.

"We need this study completed before we start looking for a suitable partner

through international bidding," Chantol said.

A new rail link between Phnom Penh and Loc Ninh in Vietnam is being planned, with

the Chinese Government pledging $1 million for a feasibility study into the estimated

$300 million project.

This, and the replacement of a 48-kilometer, destroyed link between Poipet and Sisophon,

would form part of a trans-ASEAN railway from Kunming province in China, to Singapore,

Chantol said.

ADB transport specialist Anthony Jude acknowledged that attracting investment in

Cambodia's railways will be difficult with the present structure and inefficiencies,

and it was important to show a commitment to upgrading the network.

Chantol said a $15 million rebuild of the Poipet-Sisophon link was Cambodia's first

task. The Malaysian government has pledged to donate 106 kilometers of used track,

and has been asked for a concessionary loan.

Restoring the link would allow cheaper movement of more freight between Thailand

and Cambodia and take heavy truck pressure off National Road 5, he said.

The next priority for the government will be an overhaul of the Sisophon-Phnom Penh

and Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville railway lines, totaling 600 kilometers.

"The objective is to increase average train speed to 60 kph, reduce derailments-there

were nearly 40 in 2002-and get containers to the port in eight hours instead of eight

days," said Jude.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub