The Phnom Penh Royal Railway Station is the main railway station in Phnom Penh. It is a terminal station which branches into the northern line to Poipet and the southern line to Sihanoukville.
Currently, only the line between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is in regular operation. The line between Phnom Penh and Poipet is expected to be up by the end of 2016 when I enquired with the counter staff.
The station was completed in 1932 and refurbished in 2012. Since the suspension of train services in 2009, there has been no train service till the line between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville was reinstated on 9 April 2016.
The entrance to the station hall, with signs around telling you that the station is pretty much alive with trains running every weekend. Unfortunately, my time in Cambodia were all on weekdays.
The interior of the newly refurbished station.
The ticket counters for the line from Phnom Penh to Poipet are in place on the right side of the station, even though there is no service currently.
A French heavy duty weighing scale embedded into the floor of the station. It looks as if it’s still in use for parcels for the cargo trains.
The counter for the line between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville is staffed everyday. They are English-speaking and you can make ticket reservations and enquiries here. Ticket reservations are necessary to secure a space on the train, they do sell out.
The passenger fares for the different journey combinations on the route.
Note: There has since been a $1 increase for all fares from the above information.
Two trains run on the Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Line: the Yellow Train and the Blue Train.
The Yellow Train is a 2-car DMU with air-conditioning – yes, the yellow train has recently been fitted with air-conditioning units.
The Blue Train is a locomotive-hauled train formed of 3 coaches with air-conditioning.
You can also take your car and motorbike along, but only on the full end to end route between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville. There is no facility to unload vehicles at Takeo or Kampot. I’m not sure about the bicycles though.
Poking my camera through the gate to take this picture of the platform. Part of the Blue Train is parked there.
The Blue Train has a covered goods wagon, with a generator set attached to provide electricity to the coaches.
I’m assuming these flat wagons are for the vehicles loaded for the train to Sihanoukville.
Back outside, there is a line for tuk tuks despite there not being any train services. Perhaps there are tourists other than me who actually see the value of visiting the railway station?
Outside the railway station, the area is called La Gare, there’s a Total gas station, a Tous les Jours bakery and a Bonjour Mart. Sounds and feels like I’m back in France instead.
And in case you are planning to flame me, I do know that Tous les Jours is Korean.
A preserved steam locomotive in the station compound, as shot from the road parallel to the platforms.
A side shot of a coach of the Blue Train.
While I did not have an opportunity to ride the Royal Railways as I needed to carry on with the journey, I will definitely be back to explore it one day, especially with the positive progress of the Phnom Penh – Poipet Line as witnessed in the later part of the trip.
The Phnom Penh – Poipet Line will connect with Aranyaphrathet in Thailand to possibly run through trains from Phnom Penh to Bangkok, and connect Cambodia with the other linked meter-gauge networks in South-East Asia including Laos, Malaysia and Singapore (Woodlands CIQ).
Royal Railways Service Information
Royal Railways Route Map
Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Line Timetable
Do take note of the operating days and train – the Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Line trains run on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only, with additional runs during public holidays and other destive periods. Check the latest departure times locally.
Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Line Fares
At the time of my visit, you could only book your tickets in person or by phone, which is a problem as tickets do sell out for the trains – ticket sales are limited per train to ensure everyone gets a seat. However, you can now book your tickets 1 week in advance through Baolau. The new ticketing method allows you to print your ticket at home, and then getting it stamped at the station as a valid ticket for travel – no worries about queuing at the station with the risk of it selling out on the day of departure.
- Booking Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Tickets through Baolau
- Booking Sihanoukville – Phnom Penh Tickets through Baolau
- Seat61’s Train Service in Cambodia Page
- Royal Railways Official Site
- Train Cambodia (Unofficial, more useful site)
- Train Cambodia’s Facebook Page