Getting around Cambodia by train

Trains in Cambodia are a scenic and comfortable way to travel, but it’s important to know that the railway network is still under development. Currently, there are only two operational lines.

Cambodia has a limited railway system primarily used for transporting goods. The state-owned company Royal Railways of Cambodia (RRC) operates the railway system. However, the infrastructure is in poor condition, making it unreliable and inefficient for both passengers and cargo. Despite these challenges, the government has announced plans to improve and expand the railway system in the future to enhance connectivity and boost economic growth.

One of the most active railway routes in Cambodia is the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville route, which connects the capital city to the main port. This route is mainly used for freight transportation and takes approximately 6 hours.

Another route is the Phnom Penh-Poipet route, which connects Phnom Penh to the border town of Poipet. It serves as an alternative route to the busy National Road 5 and is also primarily used for freight transportation.

The Battambang-Poipet route connects the city of Battambang to the border town of Poipet and is predominantly used for freight transportation.

As I prepare to travel to Battambang tomorrow, I have decided to take a different route this time and try the train instead of booking a bus or van ticket on BookMeBus. It’s noteworthy that the train service in Cambodia exists, and there is a Cambodia Railway Station.

To book train tickets, you don’t need to physically visit the Cambodia Railway Station. The Royal Railways website provides an online platform (available in English and Khmer) where you can check train routes, schedules, and prices. A one-way ticket from Phnom Penh to Battambang province costs around $10, and there are currently two schedules per day. I opted for the early morning departure. While the price is slightly higher compared to a bus ticket, the journey duration is a bit longer.

For secure payment, it is recommended to use PayPal. Payment methods from ABA or Acleda banks are not available, but you can use Wing Bank, which is owned by the same company group that operates the Cambodian train service.

If you’re interested, you can subscribe to Cambopedia on YouTube for videos of the train journey.

In recent years, Cambodia has made significant renovations and upgrades to its railway system. The reopening of the Phnom Penh Royal Railway Station in 2010 marked a turning point. Traveling across Cambodia by train has become more accessible and convenient. This page provides useful information about train schedules, stations, and routes.

From Phnom Penh, you can take a train to Sihanoukville, Takeo, Kampot, and soon to Poipet. The cost of a one-way ticket for an air-conditioned train trip is under $10.

To book a train ticket, you can call (+855) 78 888 582 or (+855) 78 888 583, or book online through the Royal Railways website.

Here is a list of railway stations in Cambodia:

Western line: Phnom Penh, Pursat, Moung Ruessei, Battambang, Sisophon, Poipet
Southern line: Phnom Penh, Takéo, Damnak Chang Aeur (Kep), Kampot, Veal Renh, Sihanoukville

It’s good to know that Cambodia has a 612 km (380 mi) metre gauge rail network, with rails measuring 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) in width.

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