Cambodia's modern railway system commenced commercial rail operations
on the 256- kilometre "Southern Line" between the capital city
of Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville Port after years of renovation with the
support from the development partners.
The commercial train service to the Port of Sihanoukville marks a significant
development towards the completion of the long-awaited Pan-Asian railroad.
The new railway will bring a range of benefits to Cambodia. It will
lower the cost of staple commodities that Cambodian families depend on.
Also, it will improve road safety by taking dangerous cargoes, such as
the fuel trucks driving between the oil terminal in Sihanoukville and
Phnom Penh, off the roads. In addition it will position Cambodia as a
true sub-regional transportation hub, reducing the time and costs of transporting
a range of products.
According to ADB, another 337 kilometer "Northern Line", linking
Phnom Penh to Poipet and Thailand, is expected to be opened in phases
between 2014 and 2015.
The total project cost of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Rehabilitation
of the Railway project in Cambodia, amounting to 141.6 million U.S. dollars,
is financed by an ADB loan of 84 million U.S. dollars, a Cambodian government
contribution of 20.3 million U.S. dollars, an Australian grant of 21.5
million U.S. dollars, an OPEC Fund for International Development loan
of 13 million U.S. dollars and a Malaysian grant of 2.8 million U.S. dollars.