Train between Sisophon and Poipet

CAMBODIA: A feasibility study for a further rebuild of the 382 km line from Phnom Penh to Poipet on the Thai border was submitted to the government on January 24.

The study financed and undertaken by China Road & Bridge Corp has evaluated the potential for electrification and regauging the existing metre-gauge line to 1 435 mm to enable speeds to be raised to 160 km/h.

It estimates the cost at U$4bn — around 15% of Cambodia’s GDP in 2021 — including rolling stock. This would be financed through a Chinese loan.

A total of 33 stations would be built, 19 in the initial phase and the rest in the longer term. More than 300 bridges would replace level crossings.

On January 16 Prime Minister Hun Sen said he would discuss the project during a visit to China in early February. ‘We have existing railways, but they cannot be used efficiently and economically’, he said.

The metre-gauge railway between Phnom Penh and Sisophon, located on the border with Thailand, reopened in 2018 after it had fallen into disuse over the previous decades.

  • On January 25 the Ministry of Public Works & Transport met with a French delegation to discuss proposals to build a railway from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. The French delegation was also asked to study the feasibility of a monorail, metro, automated peoplemover or tram in Phnom Penh.