Cambodia hopes to kickstart rail link to Thailand
Cambodian government officials are set to hold a meeting with the aim of setting a completion date for reopening a long defunct rail link to Thailand. A Public Works and Transport Ministry spokesperson told news sources in Phnom Penh the main stumbling block was relocating residents who lived near the reconstructed tracks.
Most of these are in Banteay Meanchey. This province abuts the nation’s northwest border with Thailand. Once this line is completely open again, it will connect Phnom Penh and Bangkok. The Poipet border crossing in Banteay Meanchey is the gateway to the Thai town of Aranyaprathet.
Ministry spokesperson Ly Borin said once the issue of the residents was sorted out the final pieces of track between Serei Saophoan and Poipet could be relaid. He said he did not know the exact completion date yet.
Train services between Cambodia and Thailand were scrapped in the 1940s and the last stretches of tracks to Poipet ripped up. Services on part of the route continued until 2009, but were also cancelled as the tracks and rolling stock were in such a bad state of repair.
12GO ASIA says the refurbishment of Cambodia’s railways began soon afterwards. Limited services started operating between Phnom Penh and the Gulf of Thailand seaside resort of Sihanoukville last year.
Today is a national holiday in Thailand. The 23 October marks the death of one of the nation’s favourite monarchs, King Chulalongkorn, in 1910. Due to the upcoming funeral rites for King Bhumibol Adulyadej, today’s ceremonies will probably be very subdued.
City authorities in Bangkok are offering free travel on trains and buses for the Royal Cremation rites on Thursday. According to the official King Rama 9 website, services on the BRT bus, MRT underground and BTS Skytrain will offer free travel for all passengers.
A traditional ceremony held at Phuket’s Jui Tui Shrine yesterday evening ushered in the 2017 edition of the island’s vegetarian festival. The island’s governor, Norraphat Plodthong, oversaw a lantern-hoisting ceremony known as Seng Ko Teng Thiao at exactly 17:09.