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ADB Provides Further Funds for Rail Link

The Asian Development Bank will provide $42 million in loans to the Cambodian government to help it revitalize its railway and boost a Southeast Asian trade network, officials said Wednesday.

“It’s a supplemental loan for the railroad,” said Kamayana Putu, ADB’s Cambodia director.

The bank has put a total investment of $84 million in the project, which is expected to cost at least $141 million.

The latest round of financing will make it possible for freight trains to begin running between Kampot province, near the Vietnamese border, to Phnom Penh, in 2011.

The entire rail system is expected to be functioning by 2013, with the eventual rehabilitation of 600 kilometers of rail all the way to Thailand, including segments damaged during Cambodia’s decades of civil strife.

The new funding will also go toward the development of a modern maintenance facility outside Phnom Penh.

“This upgraded rail network will position Cambodia as a true sub-regional transport hub, creating new jobs and business opportunities in the manufacturing and logistic services sectors,” Peter Broch, a transportation economist in the ADB’s Southeast Asia department, said in a statement.