Friday, August 21, 2009

London to Singapore Rail Freight Hits Snag

Costs for Cambodian Link Threaten Project
Shipping News Feature

CAMBODIA - Plans for a rail network that could ultimately provide a link between London and Singapore have hit a finance problem in Cambodia that may require additional funding from either governmental or NGO sources, according to a report in the Phnom Penh Post.

A feasibility study that the paper has seen states that due to the large number of bridges that would have to be completed throughout Cambodia to complete a 255km link between the capital and the Vietnamese border, the costs for this stretch of the project could reach up to $600 million.

However, as the proposed line will be a key link in a chain of railways which will theoretically then stretch from north coast of Scotland to South-East Asia, as well as potentially a major contributor to development in the entire region, a Cambodian government source is quoted as being optimistic on the funding coming from either the Asian Development Bank or the World Bank.

The proposed link is in effect the final part of the Trans-Asia Railway that was originally mooted in the 1960’s and was made a solid aim with the signing of the Trans-Asian Railway Network Agreement in 2006.

See here for the original story.