BREAKING CAMBODIAN NEWS: Thailand to Cambodia Rail Link Nears Completion

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A railway bridge linking Aranyaprathet and Poipet was dismantled earlier this year to make way for a new link set for completion by the end of 2016. @Bangkok Post

Construction of a restored rail link with Cambodia to improve transport in the Mekong sub-region will be completed by the end of 2016, Khmer officials say. The Phnom Penh Post reported Monday that Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon visited the construction site in Banteay Meanchey province, where only six more kilometres of track need to be laid. The route on the Cambodian side of the border runs from Sisophon to Poipet.

The State Railway of Thailand is rehabilitating another six kilometres of track from Aranyaprathet station in Sa Kaeo province to the border at Ban Khlong Luek, opposite Poipet town. The railway connection between Aranyaprathet and Sisophon stopped in the 1970s due to internal conflicts in Cambodia.

The Post quoted Poipet governor Ngor Meng Chroun as saying the final stage of construction will require the relocation of the local immigration department office, as well as three casinos: Golden Crown, Tropicana and Grand Diamond. He told the paper that the issue was not up for debate. All four must move. “They have known that their buildings were located close to or on the railroad territory,” he said.

Sim Sam Arth, police chief at the immigration checkpoint, confirmed that his office would move to new facilities next week, as they already have been built.

The newspaper did not get comment from any of the casinos.