Cement Truck Derails Train in Kampot

A train derailed on Friday after it was hit by a cement truck while traveling along the newly rehabilitated line from Kampot to Phnom Penh, just hours after a successful test of the line was carried out, police said yesterday.

The crash occurred at around 11 pm in Tany commune, in Kampot province’s Angkor Chey district, said Im Chhoun, deputy provincial police chief. The cement truck hit the train engine as both vehicles passed the point where the tracks intersect with route 33, he said.

“The railway crossing had no sign,” Mr Chhoun said. The train’s engine, pulling eight cars filled with rocks to be used in further track construction, toppled off the rails after being struck, he said, adding that no one was injured in the incident.

David Kerr, CEO of Toll Royal Railways–the company tasked with rebuilding Cambodia’s railway system–said that a stop sign was in place at the intersection.

“The train’s headlight was on, its whistle was blown…. There was a stop sign provided and the truck didn’t stop,” he said.

Mr Kerr said the company has been sending representatives to communities along the tracks, providing education on how to safely live near the railway.

The company ran a test train down the 120-km line to Kampot on Friday, which arrived at 2:30 pm. The line is due to open for freight transport later this month, according to Mr Kerr.

Deputy police chief Mr Chhoun said the company used a crane to hoist the engine back onto the tracks in the early hours of Saturday morning.

This was the second rail collision to occur on Friday, according to Ouk Ork, chief of transportation at Royal Railways of Cambodia, a state-owned company under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation.

Mr Ork said a so-called bamboo train–a makeshift handcart often used to transport goods illegally–collided with a train engine on the Phnom Penh to Battambang line at around 2.30 am on Friday morning.

Mr Kerr said no Toll vehicles were involved in this second incident.


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