Transport in Cambodia

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War and continuing fighting severely damaged Cambodia's transportation system — a system that had been inadequately developed in peacetime. The country's weak infrastructure hindered emergency relief efforts and created tremendous problems of procurement of supplies in general and of distribution. Cambodia received Soviet technical assistance and equipment to support the maintenance of the transportation network.



After decades of neglect and damage from wartime, Cambodia's rail network is currently being reconstructed as part of the Trans-Asian Railway project.[1] Two rail lines exist, both originating in Phnom Penh and totaling about 612 kilometers of metre gauge single track. A third line is planned to connect Phnom Penh with Vietnam,[1] the last missing link of the planned rail corridor between Singapore and the city of Kunming, China.


  • Total - 38,257 km
  • Paved - 2,406 km
  • Unpaved - 35,851 km (2004)

Of the current total, only about 50 percent of the roads and highways were covered with asphalt and were in good condition; about 50 percent of the roads were made of crushed stone, gravel, or improved earth; and the remaining approximately 30 percent were unimproved earth or were little more than tracks. In 1981 Cambodia opened a newly repaired section of National Route 1 which runs southeast from Phnom Penh to the Vietnamese border. The road, which suffered damage during the war years, was restored most probably by Vietnamese army engineers. In the late 1980s, Cambodia's road network was both underutilized and unable to meet even the modest demands placed upon it by an unindustrialized and agriculture society (see fig. 8.). Commercial vehicles, such as trucks and buses, were insufficient in number and lacked the spare parts necessary to keep them running. Road construction and maintenance were ignored by a financially hard-pressed government, while insurgents regularly destroyed bridges and rendered some routes unsafe for travel.

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