Battambang's old railway - review by Rusty Compass
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Battambang's old railway

| 03 Apr 2013


Battambang's old railway
St 123 down from Sar Kheng Bridge

Our rating
03 Apr 2013

Battambang's abandoned railway station and rail yards are set for renewal in the near future with plans to revive services to Phnom Penh and connect the town to Thailand. For now, it's a ruin rich in atmosphere.

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Battambang's place as a major agricultural trading centre was boosted by the opening of a railway linking the town with the capital by the French in the 1930s. The railway fell victim to the country's political upheaval and was suspended at various times.

Services were suspended in recent years on account of the dilapidated state of the network. There are plans to rehabilitate the entire network connecting Battambang, Phnom Penh and Thailand. The project has suffered many setbacks however and it's unclear when the planned link will commence operations.

The railway station is the least compelling feature of the railway complex that includes collapsing warehouses, rusted old rolling stock and signals and a maze of tracks that indicate a bustling rail network once operated from here.

It's another good place to reflect on Cambodia's tragic history and the long and fraught journey towards recovery the people are  engaged in.
Mark Bowyer
Mark Bowyer is the founder and publisher of Rusty Compass.
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