In recent weeks we have been reading with very much excitement the news about Royal Railways plans to resume the train passenger service in Cambodia after 14 years.
Both passenger and freight traffic were suspended in 2002. Following an extensive rehabilitation of the railway line and the equipment, the Southern line connecting Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville reopened in 2013 for shipment transportation.
Early this year, Royal Railway, the company that outsources the railway operations under an exclusive concession from the Royal Government of Cambodia, announced plans to reopen the passenger service as well, starting from April.
Passenger trains will run first during Khmer New Year holidays from April 9 to 17, as an alternative to the congested roads. This will allow the operator to survey the public interest on railway transportation in Cambodia. Depending on the passenger demand, the company will decide whether to continue operating the train as daily service, on weekends or special dates, or as a tourist train.
For this special occasion, Royal Railway has arranged 2 train sets: the yellow and the blue line.
- The yellow line has the capacity for 124 passengers and the carriages have fans installed.
- The blue line has the capacity for 160 passengers and the carriages are fully air-conditioned.
Both trainsets have been refurbished and all seats have been re-upholstered for the comfort of the passengers.
In the proposed timetable from April 9 to 17, every day at 07:00 AM one train will depart from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville and simultaneously the other train will depart from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh. On the way, trains will stop in Kampot and Takeo for 15 mins to allow passengers to embark and disembark. The whole journey will take nine hours, arriving to the final destination at 16:00 PM.
Prices vary from $3 to $6, depending on the length of the journey. Children under 12 travel for free. Ticket sales are currently being taken at Phnom Penh Railway Station.
In Baolau we are committed to actively support railway transportation in the ASEAN region so, even for a short time, we would like to participate in this unique moment of the railway history in Cambodia by providing information of train routes during Khmer New Year.
To all travellers planning to visit Sihanoukville this month who may consider taking part in this exclusive and limited time experience of riding the train in Cambodia, please contact Royal Railway for ticket reservation.