Cross-Border Cambodia–Thailand Train Is Still Waiting Approval

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Cross-Border Cambodia–Thailand Train Is Still Waiting Approval

Cambodia is still waiting for the Thai side's approval of the cross-border rail project but the general elections in Thailand which are planned for February, 2019, are likely to postpone signing of the agreement even further.

The negotiations on the mutual cross-border transportation have been already concluded, and there are railway lines on the both sides of the border ready for operation of cross-border trains. The project has become possible after the reconstruction of the western rail line in Cambodia had been completed earlier this year after a 9 years hiatus in operation.

The 386 km railway line which connects the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh with the border town of Poipet has become fully operational in July this year. In April, Poipet–Sisophon stretch was completed, followed by the Sisophon–Battambang extention immediately after. In the end of May, the line continued further, from Battambang to Pursat and finally in July the last stretch from Pursat to Phnom Penh was also finished.

On the Thai side, there is a railway line reaching the border at the town of Aranyaprathet and technically there is no problem to launch cross-border trains right away. When the respective agreement is finally signed, it will facilitate considerably both the cargo flow between the two countries and passenger travel between the two capitals – Bangkok in Thailand and Phnom Penh in Cambodia.

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