17th April 2016: For nine days from the 9th April 2016 passenger train services restarted in Cambodia to coincide with the New Year in South East Asia.
First Passenger Services in Cambodia since 2005
One service ran each day from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, and another in the opposite direction from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, with two stops on the way at Takeo and Kampot. The 264 kilometre journey between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville took, on average, 7 hours 30 minutes to complete the journey with trains reaching a top speed of 40 kpm, delighting those travellers fortunate to secure one of the limited number of tickets on sale to the public.
A Welcome Step in the Development of Cambodia’s Railway Network
This is a welcome step in the right direction for train enthusiasts all over the world. The last time a passenger train ran in Cambodia was in 2005. Cambodia’s 612 km of rail network, built by the Colonial French Government had sadly fallen in disrepair due to under investment and until a new concession to run freight had been granted in 2009 Cambodia’s rail network had been considered too dangerous to run train services. Here at Thailand Trains we are keeping our fingers crossed that the success of this brief resumption of passenger services will be the catalyst for the reopening of the other section of Cambodia’s rail network between Phnom Penh and Poipet on the border with Thailand, and a future onward connection to Bangkok.