An extended rail service from Battambang province to Pursat province is due to start today to improve transport for people and cargo, the Transport Ministry says.
The first section of the rail line, linking Poipet and Serey Sophorn, was inaugurated last month.
The track connecting Serey Sophorn in Banteay Meanchey province to Battambang is a section of the western rail line and runs for 65 kilometres. The Battambang to Pursat section is 107 kilometres long.
The ministry announced the launch of the new section on Sunday and said it would enable people to take a train directly from Banteay Meanchey to Pursat province.
Kim Sovann, head of the Banteay Meanchey department of transport, said: “People can now take the train from Poipet city of Banteay Meanchey province to Pursat province free of charge until the end of July.”
Mr Sovann said he had no detailed information about the new line and said it was under the jurisdiction of the Transport Ministry.
Ministry spokesman Var Sim Sorya said the train lines, which are funded from the national budgets, would help facilitate public transport and the movement of goods.
“The train line projects used to be funded by the Asian Development Bank but the project ran out of money so the government got in and funded the projects,” he said.
He could not say exactly how much the government contributed because it was made in various steps.
The start of the rehabilitated train lines in early April has not been without problems. There were reports of multiple accidents injuring people who were driving across the tracks, though no deaths were reported.
These prompted the ministry to warn people living near the line to be cautious and for drivers always to be alert.
Mr Sim Sorya repeated the warning, calling for people living along the line to pay more attention and for drivers to give way the to the train while crossing.
“Officials will try to disseminate information and educate people about the right-of-way of the train and for people along the line to be more careful when it is in operation,” he said.