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Cambodia has 612 kilometres of mostly very poor quality metre gauge train track, most of which is still from the colonial French times. Nobody took care of neither the infrastructure nor the rolling stock and as a result all traffic had to be stopped totally in 2009. In 2016 some modest service has started again, thanks to the funding of the Asian development bank. Since April 2016 there is once again train traffic between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville as well as Phnom Penh and Poipet. New diesel locomotives have also been ordered from China. Restoration works have been performed by two companies: Toll railway and the Royal group. That explains also the trains' brand name Toll Royal railway.'s star reporter Matti Tenkanen visited the country in November 2016, so we now have some fresh pictures.
The locomotive in our first picture is a French steam locomotive of the class 131, which is kept by the gate to the railway mechanical repair shops. It was built by Franco-Belge in 1912. Picture 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


Front view of the Phnom Penh railway station.
Picture 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


Platform side view of the Phnom Penh railway station.
Picture 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


One more view of the Phnom Penh railway station, showing also the colonial time class 131 steam engine.
Picture 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


This is the newly opened "star" of the service, a passenger train to Sihanoukville. The diesel multiple unit train has been built by the famous Waggonfabrik Uerdingen in Germany, the same company that built Germany's famous railbuses. This train is of the class ZZ, number ZZ 803, built in Germany in 1969. Those of you who are familiar with German trains, will immediately recognize a certain resemblance to the German Baureihe (class) 614.
Picture from Phnom Penh 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


Texts by the side of the disesel multiple unit have been kept in the original French language even as the unit has received a new painting.
Picture from Phnom Penh 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


Cargo wagon of the train to Sihanoukville.
Picture in Phnom Penh 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


The train to Sihanoukville takes also cars.
Picture in Phnom Penh 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


Engine of the ZZ 803 diesel multiple unit. Picture from Phnom Penh 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen. Originally this train had also more wagons in its middle. For a view of what the colouring used to be, and to see the sorry state that the original Uerdingen-made middle coaches look like lately, please see Florian Grupp's picture of the rusting wagons in 2010 at the flickriver service online.


The train to Sihanoukville is ready to leave and our reporter Matti Tenkanen is leaning on the DMU.
Copyright Matti Tenkanen Phnom Penh 6.11.2016.


A motor draisine for track inspection purposes at the Phnom Penh railway station.
Picture 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.


Another view of the same motor draisine. It can also be used for rail taxi like transport of only a few people.
Picture from the Phnom Penh railway station 6.11.2016 by Matti Tenkanen.
To see how desolate and deserted the rail system of Cambodia was in 2008-2009, you might want to have a look at Richard Gennis' pages Phantasrail Cambodia. It's nice to see that things are moving towards the better now. As already mentioned above, Cambodian Toll Royal Railways has ordered new locomotives from China. To see what they look like, see for example this Richard Gennis' photo page on the site.
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