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Saloth Sar

Dry Run with the Airport Train Shuttle

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On June 29th I did a dry run on the Airport Train Shuttle linking the PNH Train Station to the Airport Terminal what follow is my version of the ride and the rail service.

I took a hike to the old Train Station on Blvd Monivong that was inaugurated in 1932 with train service to Battambang most of the time the station was only used for goods transport mainly oil-tanks train. The station was closed to the public for several years until it was restored and formally reopened in Oct 2010.

According to the media grist the now active rail line to the airport is position to run every 20 to 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, and will be free until the end of July 2018. Royal Railways says it plans to receive three new trains from Mexico in June, 2018 (there is no evidence of that yet) trains that will have 2,400 horsepower engines and cruising speeds of 80 km per hour. The new trains will be outfitted with Wi-Fi, TVs and video intercom system.

There are no barriers or security so anyone may enter the station hallway and walk freely to the platforms.  As I enter the station I noticed a large information desk, where I inquired about the departure time of the next airport shuttle I was told the next one will be at 12.00 it was 11.10 am so I have to wait fifty minutes, I walk around and gathering information’s the waiting room was almost empty that morning only a group of students and a few destitute Khmer women with their baseborn probably living in the airport vicinity and taking advantage of the free ride. A self checking counter was installed for the outbound air passengers can check-in their luggage at the station. Also there is neither cart nor porter available to bring bags to the platform; one has to climb up in to the train so if you’re loaded like a donkey you will have to lift your bags up from the ground currently there is no all-purpose baggage car available. It was already 12.10 at the station Tissot clock and no train in sight; it was time to go back to the info desk in order to get the latest, the clerk apologized for the delay and said that the train will be there in fifteen minutes. It was 12.33 when I finally heard the distinct sounds of the flanges squealing of the train coming into the station. In a flash the waiting room was clear everybody rushing to the platform, something peculiar two locomotives were pulling one single railcar, hastily train personnel wearing orange safety vest got busy decoupling the first engine that quickly move out of the way. Then a team of three mechanics carrying a tools box climbs on the bridge of the second engine (Bde-410) old and very small, meanwhile I chat with the supervisor he told me that the engine stalled two miles from the station that is the reason why the train was pulled by two locomotives, so now the repair team is trying to fix the problem while travelers remains on the platform,  it was 13.20  when the old engine Bde-410 comes to life again, all aboard we are leaving the station the time is now 13.40.The carriage is an aged slender gauge train that was renovated, very clean with good A/C units and no toilet, I noticed that two of the engineers who repaired the engine were aboard with their tools box. The train speed was low no more than 10 to 12 km/h; the panorama is just like going through shabby town, children playing in front of their homes only a meter away from the train. It was 14.20 when the train reached the airport train station, the train stop only for 10 minutes before going back to PNH station. I get off and go inside the waiting lounge to get the schedule of the next train the young lad told me that next one will be departing at 15.30. I walked around the building to get familiar with the installation and it was time for my late lunch, I went inside the airport terminal departure lounge to eat something at the Blue Pumpkin stall I was sat there for forty minutes and then move to the arrivals section where the Airport Train Shuttle ticket counter is located just next to the KK Star Bus Shuttle. It was about time for me to go back the Train Shuttle Lounge which is very close like 50 meters away. Now the time is 15.20 and the lounge was a bit busy I went back to the info desk to verify the timetable this time the same lad was all alone and not so sure about the departure time he told me to wait for a few minutes he will get back to me, I went to the toilet and I saw him running in the parking lot in the direction of the airport offices. Now the time is 15.35 and there is no train at the platform or employee in the waiting lounge, then on a motorcycle coming from the air terminal I recognized the two youngsters that I talked to earlier they walk in the lounge like nothing happen, the time now is 15.50, went back to the desk to ask him what happen, the older boy told me that the train had a malfunction and there is no information available at this time.  I returned to the air terminal to KK Star bus shuttle to check the schedule and fare; it was well posted in from off the office, one way ticket $5.00 with a frequent schedule to PNH. Back to the train lounge again the situation didn’t not change, passengers are still waiting for the train. I made a swift decision I exited the airport and went to local bus stop for line number 3 located across the airport fence at the same level that the train station, the waiting time was short a few minutes only before I boarded the bus, it cost 1600. Riels, it took 20 minutes I get off the bus at the Central Market stop, my jaunt to the airport was over.

Conclusion:

The current Airport Train Shuttle is a genuine crapshoot a fanfare embellished by the newspapers and politicians, it will take at least half a year before that train shuttle service will be fully efficient. The arrival date of the new trains from Mexico promised for the month of June it’s not available yet and it will take time and skill to fine-tune these new gears and makes them compatible with the outdated rails network. It was mentioned that these new powerful engines cruising speed of 80 km per hour; I don’t believe that such velocity can be attained using the present outdated rails system.  The transport minister also called on travelers to be vigilant on part of Russian Boulevard where the train crosses that is the 1.6 km added segment to access the airport, on the day of my trip I observed that despite that the crossing gate was activated numerous vehicle such as tuc tuc, motorcycles and other illicit means of transportation simply ignored that warning and drove through till the last moment when the train is coming, here in Cambodia stopping is just like a cardinal sin, the motorists have no discipline nor respect for laws and rules anything goes. Anyway for me the excursion was informative and fun, I will do it again in a month or two. This service should not be considered seriously to go to the airport till the end of the year.

 

Waiting Lounge pic 1.JPG

Inside Pax Car pic 1a.JPG

Ticket Desks at Station pic 2.JPG

Online Bag checking pic 3.JPG

Info Desk and Snack bar pic 4.JPG

Railways Crew pic 5.JPG

Station online baggage check pic 7.JPG

Engine for Airport Shuttle pic 8.JPG

Bde 410 Engine pic 9.JPG

Airport train terminal pic 10.JPG

Airport waiting room pic 11.JPG

Airport terminal view from Train waiting room pic 12.JPG

Inside  train waiting room at airport pic 13.JPG

Pumpkin Stall pic 14.JPG

KK Star Airport Shuttle pic 15.jpg

KK Star Shuttle Office pic 16.jpg

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Thanks for the rundown Saloth Sar.

I'm lobbing in on the 1st Aug and a train ride rather than a taxi into PP would be more relaxing.

it sounds like the same engine that took me from PP to Kampot back in January this year.

It broke down half-way at Takeo and we had to wait a couple of hours for the bigger engine to arrive and hook-up and take us to Kampot while it continued on to Snooky.

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On 7/12/2018 at 6:44 PM, Muldoon said:

Thanks for the rundown Saloth Sar.

I'm lobbing in on the 1st Aug and a train ride rather than a taxi into PP would be more relaxing.

it sounds like the same engine that took me from PP to Kampot back in January this year.

It broke down half-way at Takeo and we had to wait a couple of hours for the bigger engine to arrive and hook-up and take us to Kampot while it continued on to Snooky.

Well I do not know your arrival time but I hope it will be in the day time because there is no train shuttle after 19.00, because there is no 24 hrs service like it was advertised in the newspapers.

 

cheers 

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20 hours ago, Saloth Sar said:

Well I do not know your arrival time but I hope it will be in the day time because there is no train shuttle after 19.00, because there is no 24 hrs service like it was advertised in the newspapers.

 

cheers 

I get into PP around 1pm so I might check it out.

I've only got carry-on as well so a train isn't a hassle.

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4 hours ago, Muldoon said:

I get into PP around 1pm so I might check it out.

I've only got carry-on as well so a train isn't a hassle.

I pass by the train station two to three times a week so if anything serious happen I will let you know.

cheers

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On 7/14/2018 at 5:04 PM, Muldoon said:

I get into PP around 1pm so I might check it out.

I've only got carry-on as well so a train isn't a hassle.

 Here the latest gossip, it looks like the new train carriages will be in by Sep 2018, meanwhile the old equipment will have to hold till the arrival of the new rolling stocks. Pic (a) is the last info published this morning Jul 18,2018 in the Khmer Times.

cheers

Khmer Times Jul18,2018 (a).JPG

New Train Carriages (b).JPG

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Here is a photo (panoramic) of the carriage I was in when I went down to Kampot last January.

 

Slow train to Kampot.jpg

 

... and the interminable wait at Takeo for the back-up engine.

 

 

Takeo stop.jpg

Slow Train to Kampot 2.jpg

Edited by Muldoon
missed sumpit
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On 7/14/2018 at 5:04 PM, Muldoon said:

I get into PP around 1pm so I might check it out.

I've only got carry-on as well so a train isn't a hassle.

There is no major change with the Airport Shuttle, you should be able to get your ride on the old equipment. The city is very quiet cause of the election people will be back on the job tomorrow, most of the business were closed for 3 days including most of the bars, the girls will be graving for cash good timing for you.

 

cheers     

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On 7/8/2018 at 2:07 PM, Saloth Sar said:

 

On June 29th I did a dry run on the Airport Train Shuttle linking the PNH Train Station to the Airport Terminal what follow is my version of the ride and the rail service.

I took a hike to the old Train Station on Blvd Monivong that was inaugurated in 1932 with train service to Battambang most of the time the station was only used for goods transport mainly oil-tanks train. The station was closed to the public for several years until it was restored and formally reopened in Oct 2010.

According to the media grist the now active rail line to the airport is position to run every 20 to 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, and will be free until the end of July 2018. Royal Railways says it plans to receive three new trains from Mexico in June, 2018 (there is no evidence of that yet) trains that will have 2,400 horsepower engines and cruising speeds of 80 km per hour. The new trains will be outfitted with Wi-Fi, TVs and video intercom system.

There are no barriers or security so anyone may enter the station hallway and walk freely to the platforms.  As I enter the station I noticed a large information desk, where I inquired about the departure time of the next airport shuttle I was told the next one will be at 12.00 it was 11.10 am so I have to wait fifty minutes, I walk around and gathering information’s the waiting room was almost empty that morning only a group of students and a few destitute Khmer women with their baseborn probably living in the airport vicinity and taking advantage of the free ride. A self checking counter was installed for the outbound air passengers can check-in their luggage at the station. Also there is neither cart nor porter available to bring bags to the platform; one has to climb up in to the train so if you’re loaded like a donkey you will have to lift your bags up from the ground currently there is no all-purpose baggage car available. It was already 12.10 at the station Tissot clock and no train in sight; it was time to go back to the info desk in order to get the latest, the clerk apologized for the delay and said that the train will be there in fifteen minutes. It was 12.33 when I finally heard the distinct sounds of the flanges squealing of the train coming into the station. In a flash the waiting room was clear everybody rushing to the platform, something peculiar two locomotives were pulling one single railcar, hastily train personnel wearing orange safety vest got busy decoupling the first engine that quickly move out of the way. Then a team of three mechanics carrying a tools box climbs on the bridge of the second engine (Bde-410) old and very small, meanwhile I chat with the supervisor he told me that the engine stalled two miles from the station that is the reason why the train was pulled by two locomotives, so now the repair team is trying to fix the problem while travelers remains on the platform,  it was 13.20  when the old engine Bde-410 comes to life again, all aboard we are leaving the station the time is now 13.40.The carriage is an aged slender gauge train that was renovated, very clean with good A/C units and no toilet, I noticed that two of the engineers who repaired the engine were aboard with their tools box. The train speed was low no more than 10 to 12 km/h; the panorama is just like going through shabby town, children playing in front of their homes only a meter away from the train. It was 14.20 when the train reached the airport train station, the train stop only for 10 minutes before going back to PNH station. I get off and go inside the waiting lounge to get the schedule of the next train the young lad told me that next one will be departing at 15.30. I walked around the building to get familiar with the installation and it was time for my late lunch, I went inside the airport terminal departure lounge to eat something at the Blue Pumpkin stall I was sat there for forty minutes and then move to the arrivals section where the Airport Train Shuttle ticket counter is located just next to the KK Star Bus Shuttle. It was about time for me to go back the Train Shuttle Lounge which is very close like 50 meters away. Now the time is 15.20 and the lounge was a bit busy I went back to the info desk to verify the timetable this time the same lad was all alone and not so sure about the departure time he told me to wait for a few minutes he will get back to me, I went to the toilet and I saw him running in the parking lot in the direction of the airport offices. Now the time is 15.35 and there is no train at the platform or employee in the waiting lounge, then on a motorcycle coming from the air terminal I recognized the two youngsters that I talked to earlier they walk in the lounge like nothing happen, the time now is 15.50, went back to the desk to ask him what happen, the older boy told me that the train had a malfunction and there is no information available at this time.  I returned to the air terminal to KK Star bus shuttle to check the schedule and fare; it was well posted in from off the office, one way ticket $5.00 with a frequent schedule to PNH. Back to the train lounge again the situation didn’t not change, passengers are still waiting for the train. I made a swift decision I exited the airport and went to local bus stop for line number 3 located across the airport fence at the same level that the train station, the waiting time was short a few minutes only before I boarded the bus, it cost 1600. Riels, it took 20 minutes I get off the bus at the Central Market stop, my jaunt to the airport was over.

Conclusion:

The current Airport Train Shuttle is a genuine crapshoot a fanfare embellished by the newspapers and politicians, it will take at least half a year before that train shuttle service will be fully efficient. The arrival date of the new trains from Mexico promised for the month of June it’s not available yet and it will take time and skill to fine-tune these new gears and makes them compatible with the outdated rails network. It was mentioned that these new powerful engines cruising speed of 80 km per hour; I don’t believe that such velocity can be attained using the present outdated rails system.  The transport minister also called on travelers to be vigilant on part of Russian Boulevard where the train crosses that is the 1.6 km added segment to access the airport, on the day of my trip I observed that despite that the crossing gate was activated numerous vehicle such as tuc tuc, motorcycles and other illicit means of transportation simply ignored that warning and drove through till the last moment when the train is coming, here in Cambodia stopping is just like a cardinal sin, the motorists have no discipline nor respect for laws and rules anything goes. Anyway for me the excursion was informative and fun, I will do it again in a month or two. This service should not be considered seriously to go to the airport till the end of the year.

 

Waiting Lounge pic 1.JPG

Inside Pax Car pic 1a.JPG

Ticket Desks at Station pic 2.JPG

Online Bag checking pic 3.JPG

Info Desk and Snack bar pic 4.JPG

Railways Crew pic 5.JPG

Station online baggage check pic 7.JPG

Engine for Airport Shuttle pic 8.JPG

Bde 410 Engine pic 9.JPG

Airport train terminal pic 10.JPG

Airport waiting room pic 11.JPG

Airport terminal view from Train waiting room pic 12.JPG

Inside  train waiting room at airport pic 13.JPG

Pumpkin Stall pic 14.JPG

KK Star Airport Shuttle pic 15.jpg

KK Star Shuttle Office pic 16.jpg

Add-on information for the Airport Shuttle:

Effective on Oct 31st the price for the Airport Shuttle will be 2.50 USD for single ticket and 6.00 USD for family ticket, until then  this service remains free of charge. I also attached the complete trains table ( pic 2, 3)

 

Cheers

 

 

 

Airport Shuttle fare from Oct 2018.JPG

Trains schedule for 2018.JPG

Trains timetable for 2018.JPG

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I usually get back to PP airport at about 10pm after an 18 hour flight so have not used it yet but it would be great for a trip to and from Thailand.

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On 7/30/2018 at 9:30 AM, Saloth Sar said:

There is no major change with the Airport Shuttle, you should be able to get your ride on the old equipment. The city is very quiet cause of the election people will be back on the job tomorrow, most of the business were closed for 3 days including most of the bars, the girls will be graving for cash good timing for you.

 

cheers     

The cad is 4 years old we know you don't have the bed in your home you don't know how many lights is there you live in the dungen and sleep in the caves you know where it is don't die

 

On 7/30/2018 at 9:30 AM, Saloth Sar said:

There is no major change with the Airport Shuttle, you should be able to get your ride on the old equipment. The city is very quiet cause of the election people will be back on the job tomorrow, most of the business were closed for 3 days including most of the bars, the girls will be graving for cash good timing for you.

 

cheers     

 

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