Price tag set for railway link to Vietnam border

Soeun Say, Phnom Penh Post, Jul. 21 2011

Experts have pegged the cost of a railway to link to Vietnam at US$686 million, after yesterday announcing the conclusion of a feasibility study for the construction of the link from Kampong Speu province to the border with Vietnam.

The proposed railway line would plug the largest missing link on the planned Singapore to Kunming, China rail line.

The Third Railway Survey and Design Institute from the Chinese Railway Ministry had conducted the study since July 2009 with US$3 million in assistance, a release said.

The 257 kilomtere link was estimated to cost some US$686 million, not including settlement compensation for residents affected by the project, it said.

Officials could not be reached yesterday to confirm if funding for the link had yet been secured.

The study was conducted in collaboration with Cambodia’s concerned ministries and institutions, including on-site study and aerial photographs.

“The study results show that the railroad stretch of 257 kilometres from … Oudong district of Kampong Speu province, to Snuol district in Kratie province, to Valy [in Vietnam],” it said.

“The project will provide huge economic benefits to Cambodia, especially on the development of agriculture and mineral resources.”

The statement said the study result will be submitted to Prime Minister Hun Sen to make a decision on the project.

The Asian Development Bank is presently spearheading a project to revamp the Kingdom’s existing rail links, including the 254 kilometre South Line from the capital to Sihanoukville, and the 388 North Line from Phnom Penh to the border with Thailand.

Toll Royal Railways, sole commissionaire for the railway, began running trains between Phnom Penh and Kampot province on the first reopened stretch in October last year.