In an effort to prevent train accidents, the Transport Minister yesterday announced that barriers will be put in place at some crossings along the Serei Sophorn-Battambang train line and that 70 walkie-talkies are to be distributed to railway security guards to improve communication.
Speaking during the inauguration of the 65-kilometre train line, Transport Minister Sun Chantol said that the ministry is studying the impact of railways on the local population. He said that the ministry is appealing to residents to obey the rules and to mind their safety.
“Our railways were abandoned for more than 40 years, but now we have to start to prepare for it again,” he said. “So please be safe. Don’t complain over the sound of the train waking you up at night. That’s just the simple sound of the train. Please join together to maintain our trains.”
Mr Chantol said that the ministry will utilise barriers at some crossings to prevent people from crossing when a train is oncoming. The ministry will also hand out 70 walkie-talkies to security guards so they can communicate along the railway.
“There were three accidents recently involving trains, but no one died,” he noted. “Do not dare to cross when you see the train. Do not try to cross, it’s dangerous. Please be careful.”
Suon Bovor, governor of Banteay Meanchey province, said that residents along the railway must look out for their children and obey traffic rules.
“It is a historical event – the Banteay Meanchey-Battambang line hasn’t been operational since it was damaged during the war,” he said. “All vehicles – cars and motors – must be careful when crossing the railway, please obey the security guards, listen to the train’s sound and stop when the train is coming.”
Chan Srey, 48, a resident in Banteay Meanchey province, said the restoration of the train line has made travelling between Banteay Meanchey and Battambang provinces more convenient for her.
“I have never ridden on a train before, now I have a second chance to ride on it,” she said. “People are happy to travel and transport products to the market.”
Last week, the Transport Ministry issued a statement calling for people to pay more attention to oncoming trains on the Poipet-Battambang railway after three accidents occurred since its launch earlier this month.