Sa Kaeo-Poipet train line opened, to boost border trade

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha wave from a window of the train before departing from Klong Luek station in Aranyaprathet district, Sa Kaeo, on Monday. (Photo: Cambodian government/AP)

The repaired rail link between Aranyaprathet and Poipet was reopened on Monday, 46 years after it was closed by a civil war that destroyed Cambodia's railway infrastructure.

Speaking at the opening ceremony at the border, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said the re-established train link between Klong Luek station in Aranyaprathet district of Sa Kaeo and Poipet station in Cambodia will boost transportation, border trade, tourism, and business and investment opportunities.

The rail link underlined the two government's pledged "partnership for peace and prosperity" on the border.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen called the restoration of the rail link, which was cut off in 1973, both historical and strategic.

"The restoration of the rail link brings a new opportunity for railway services that will help contribute to the economic development of the two countries and also contribute to Asean integration and the development of Greater Mekong sub-region," Hun Sen said.

Symbolising the partnreship, Gen Prayut and Hun Sen rode together on the four-carriage train from Klong Leuk to Poipet. The train was donated by Thailand, marking the reconnection of the track. (continues below)

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and his Cambodian counterpart, Hun Sen, during the ceremonial opening of a friendship bridge between Ban Nong Ian and Stung Bot in Cambodia on Monday. (Reuters photo)

Regular services on the line are planned to begin later this year, after the two countries agree on train transport regulations.

Earlier on Monday, the two prime ministers opened a bridge linking Ban Nong Ian in Aranyaprathet and Stung Bot in Cambodia.

Border trade between the two countries was 145 billion baht last year, 62% of if going through the Aranyaprathet-Poipet land crossing, according to the Foreign Trade Department.


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