The Royal Railway Airport Shuttle Train is Phnom Penh International Airport’s airport express train, providing a direct rail link into downtown Phnom Penh. Heading into the city, I definitely needed to get the Airport Shuttle Train now that the new Mexican DMUs have arrived and are in active usage, as compared with my previous visit when the service was made of a makeshift locomotive and coach.
At the arrival hall, the Royal Railway counter was unmanned, but there are brochures laid on it for passengers to take.
As I already knew where the railway station is anyway, I headed there, out of the arrival hall.
Crossing the driveway to the car park.
The Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station was just up ahead.
Signs along the pillars lead you to the Royal Railway Airport Shuttle Train.
The path leads to the station via a new pavilion with a Khmer food court, Nham Pochentong, in it.
Skirting around the food court to the railway station.
The Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station just in front of the food court.
Heading into the Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
The ticket counter and waiting room is inside this air-conditioned building.
The interior of the air-conditioned waiting room and ticket hall.
The ticket counter at Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
Brochures are available at the ticket counter too. As the staff at the counter saw me taking photos before approaching her to buy a ticket, she kindly said to me when I wanted to buy a ticket to Phnom Penh, “The train is coming, please go outside to take a photo first.”. Why, thank you.
Hey… That looks familiar.
Maybe that’s why the staff wanted me to take more photos? Hmm…
Okay but shan’t speculate on goodwill here.
The platform of Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
Looks like a set of mobile stairs is provided for the Mexican DMU instead of using the in-built ones.
The buffer stop at the end of the Phnom Penh Airport Line.
The facade of Phnom Penh International Airport from Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
Just as I approached the track entrance to the station to take photos, the Mexican DMU peeks through Street 105K.
Mexican DMU AS1002 takes the final curve across Russian Federation Boulevard, with motorists still not understanding the dangers of driving so close to the train.
Entering Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
Arrived at Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
The train doors are opened first.
A crew then jumps down from the train to push the mobile stairs to the train door to allow the incoming passengers to alight.
Mexican DMU AS1002 at the platform of Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station, ready for boarding. At this point, the ticket counter staff delivered my ticket to the platform where I paid her USD2.50 for the fare. She had 2000 Riel change readied in her hand when I handed her USD3. Excellent service.
Heading up the mobile stairs to the Airport Shuttle Train.
The logo of Royal Railway is cut into the door panel above.
The mobile stairs is also a precise fit for the Mexican DMU, with guide bars ensuring the steps of the mobile stairs are flushed with the steps of the train.
My ticket for the Airport Shuttle Train from Phnom Penh International Airport to Phnom Penh Railway Station, departing at 4.35pm (AIRPORT-PP 16:35 PM).
The overall interior of the Mexican DMU.
As the train door is in the middle, it sort of “splits” the train into 2 cabins.
A wheelchair space is available on board, though I don’t see how a passenger-in-wheelchair could get up the train step-free.
Seats can be rotated based on the direction of travel, or to form bays of 4 seats.
The regular transverse seating arrangement.
The legroom available in the transverse seating arrangement.
A tray table and cup holder is also available in the transverse seating arrangement.
Departing from Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station.
Locals taking a picture with the departing Mexican DMU.
Crossing over Russian Federation Boulevard to Street 105K.
With permission, I was able to take some shots out of the front of the train, though the rain didn’t help with the clarity of it.
The digital panels in the cab of the Mexican DMU.
Heading down Street 105K, with road vehicles now staying away from the railway track running down the middle of the street.
Local shops along the street.
Probably the only part of the train which looks Mexican, on the emergency windows.
A playlist of videos were displayed on the many television screens on board, but they were not played.
Turning towards the junction at Taing Korsang Khang Tboung Pagoda.
The entrance arch to Taing Korsang Khang Tboung Pagoda.
Approaching the main line.
Crossing the level crossing before approaching the junction.
Back on the main line just after the parallel level crossing.
The ground staff switching the points to the main line.
The crew changes roles now, with the resting crew member now taking the train onwards to Phnom Penh.
The rest hut of the ground crew at the point.
Leaving the Phnom Penh Airport Line to the main line.
Heading down together with the parallel road.
Here, I switched to a facing bay seat for more legroom.
The view out of the train.
Overhead luggage racks run above the seats.
Crossing a busy level crossing in the rain.
The rain got heavier here…
… when I realised that the windows on the Mexican DMU aren’t sealed properly and my arm started to get light water splashes.
Another level crossing on approach to the station vicinity.
The first locomotive shed into Phnom Penh.
Yay, more scrap trains with bogies back on a railway line. Can’t wait to see what Royal Railway does with these.
Not sure if this twisted car body can be saved though. Maybe that’s why it isn’t on a running line.
Passing by the long upcoming Phnom Penh Parkson or Phnom Penh Megamall.
Another loco shed closer to the station.
Looks like both CSR Qishuyan CKD6D locomotives are parked outside.
Both of them sport the new corporate livery of Royal Railway too.
I wonder what this coach will be in future, a second King’s coach?
Mexican DMU AS1003 parked here before the loco shed.
Both Mexican DMU AS1001 and AS1003 are parked here.
Passing by a water crane in the yard.
Crossing the last, rather modern, railway crossing.
Passing by the Office of the Council of Ministers in the distance.
Passing by the Peace Palace in the distance.
Passing by the main bay island platform of Phnom Penh Railway Station, which the Airport Shuttle Train does not normally use any more.
Passing along the sheltered part of the platform.
An Airport Shuttle Train passenger coach in new corporate livery sitting on a siding.
Approaching the main station building of Phnom Penh Railway Station.
Crossing the last level crossing, within the station compounds.
Pulling directly into the station.
The Airport Shuttle Train doors open to a new hole in the wall of Phnom Penh Railway Station.
Heading down the train by a set of mobile stairs too.
The new hole in the wall of Phnom Penh Railway Station for the Airport Shuttle Train.
The new Airport Shuttle Train platform, leading to the new Cafe Amazon, taking the place of the former Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville ticket counter. Sigh.
The platform will definitely not allow a good picture of the train.
Heading out of the Airport Shuttle Train platform.
I’m not liking this new look of Phnom Penh Railway Station.
The path to the Airport Shuttle Train platform beside Cafe Amazon.
Totally not liking this new, modern facade.
Phnom Penh Railway Station now comes with stale, metal benches.
Heading out to the concourse, you can see how the new line is formed.
Mexican DMU AS1002 at the Airport Shuttle Train platform of Phnom Penh Railway Station, seen from outside the station building.
The single car Mexican DMU fits the side of the station almost perfectly.
As the Airport Shuttle Train is about to depart back to the airport, the barriers of the level crossing within the station are closed.
The Mexican DMU AS1002 heading back to Phnom Penh Airport Railway Station as the 17:10PM.
Heading off into the distance.
The hole in the wall can be better seen when the train is gone.
The new easternmost buffer stop in Cambodia now, at the Airport Shuttle Train line.
Looking back down towards Samrong, Sihanoukville, Poipet, Bang Sue, Hat Yai, KL Sentral and Woodlands CIQ.
The quaint Airport Shuttle Train line beside Phnom Penh Railway Station.
Back in the station building, at least the royal portraits on the other end are kept, though the ticket counter area has been modernised too.
The former Phnom Penh – Poipet ticket counter has also been cut into, for a wider hall.
The new, rather stale, modern ticket counter of Royal Railway.
The self check-in area has also been shifted into this new void.
The overall look of the station hall now.
Heading out to the station driveway, the new Phnom Penh City Bus Line 12 serves the station directly.
The ever-improving facade of Phnom Penh Railway Station, though that future artist’s impression is worrying, removing lots of character from the station.
The Former Buddha Stupa in front of the station.
Here, I walked on to my hotel to check-in.
Overall, a rather pleasant journey on the Airport Shuttle Train, with the many improvements since my first journey just last year. The journey time has also been shortened as the train need not be reversing on half of the line as compared with the first loco-and-coach contraption used when the line first opened. If the train timing matches, like my journey, this is actually now the fastest way into the city, taking just 30 minutes. Still hoping for the day where 2 trains are used simultaneously on the line to further improve the train frequency though.