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Key study on capital’s rail project completed

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The Phnom Penh Railway Station in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune. Heng Chivoan

Key study on capital’s rail project completed

Preliminary studies on three options for a mass transit railway system for Phnom Penh have been completed, and after “a few adjustments”, a report will be submitted to Prime Minister Hun Sen to decide which choice to move ahead with, according to Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol.

At a recent event, Chanthol revealed that $2 billion has been earmarked for the project, identifying the three options as: an underground or above-ground railway system, or monorail. Of note, Hun Sen on August 31 voiced preference for an underground system, citing negative impacts.

“We’ve asked those who studied the project to make a few adjustments,” he said without elaborating, adding that the ministry would seek investors based on the premier’s decision, “because we do not want to invest $2 billion … by ourselves, we want the private sector to join us”.

Cambodia Logistics Association (CLA) president Sin Chanthy commented that a mass transit railway system in Phnom Penh could provide a considerable boost to the freight and transport sectors, in addition to merely making it easier for people to get around the capital.

“We support it, and hope that our Cambodian logistics and transportation system will be further improved to another level, in step with the government’s long-term vision to bring down costs related to logistics and transport as well as to ensure high competitiveness in the sector,” he told The Post on December 25.

There has been a variety of ideas for mass transit railway systems proposed over the years for the capital, many of which have been scrapped, stalled or changed due to higher-than-expected potential costs.

These include an 18km Japanese-funded sky train that was reportedly to be built from Central Market to Phnom Penh International Airport at an estimated cost of $0.8-1.0 billion, as Chanthol noted back in early June 2018.

The minister also mentioned plans to build additional sky train lines along major roads such as Monivong, Kampuchea Krom, Charles de Gaulle, Monireth and Veng Sreng boulevards.


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