Crossing Cambodia

Friday, July 11, 2008

Chasing Cars not so often anymore

  • Has anyone noticed? It's election time! That means the party in control can use cars without license plates which are an apparent improvement of cars with military, state or police license plates. Details from this article on KI Media. Seems to be all the same to Crossing Cambodia.
  • From someone called Tynan (Scottish?) an extensive coverage of a recent rail journey from Battambang to the capital. Photo's are available here. He (or is it a she?) seems impressed:
    'Calling it a passenger train is a bit of a misnomer, though. ...The train is slow, probably the slowest train in the world. The fastest I clocked it with my GPS was 17kph. ...
    The journey from Battambang, a city reasonably close to the Thai border, to Phnom Penh takes four hours by air conditioned bus. I've been on the train for 17 hours now and there's been no word on when we'll finally arrive. The official timetable claimed it would be 5 hours ago. ....
    We once stopped unexpectedly because one of the four car's bumpers had jumped onto another one's'.
  • Another unexpected train stop occurred the last week:
    'A train for transporting oil collapsed on Saturday at 12: 30 p.m., destroying at least three homes along its rail way in Tuol Kok district’s Boeng Kok I commune. Fortunately, no one injured of the accident and it did not contain oil in the time, or it could cause fire. The victims demanded for compensation, but both local authorities and police did not know the company deal with the case'.
  • The same derailment though seems to have drawn some attention: some of the victims are continuing their pursuit of compensation. More intriguing for Tynan:
    'S'im Tang, 63, whose house was flattened in the derailment, complained that the train had sped through the neighborhood on an unsafe track'.
    Must of been at least 20 km/hr, then!
  • As if the railways haven't enough headaches, a cement truck
    'crashed with a running train'.
    The report states that there were no injuries, but not what the possible damage could of been. The police though blame the railways:
    'The train officer should have given sign to travelers when the trains crossed the road, he [Angkor Chay police chief Keo Vibol] added'.
  • More unexpected stops, this time with fatalities:
    'A Korean driver killed five members of one Cambodian family [traveling on one motorbike] while speeding under the influence of alcohol [and driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, police said Monday'.
    This quote from KI Media. Khmer refers to a
    'brutal traffic accident'.
  • Prices are going up, Vietnam is preparing more measures to stop smuggling:
    'Under the ministry’s decision, border gas station customers will not be able to fill containers with fuel'.
  • Despite fuel prices going up, transport prices will only change next month, surprisingly after the elections:
    'The Phnom Penh municipality held a meeting on Friday with the transportation and the parking lot owners to keep the price of the transport price on the campaign as well as the election day'.
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