Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni (L, front) and his mother, former Queen Norodom Monineath (R, front), arrive at the Phnom Penh Railway Station in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Dec. 30, 2016. Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, accompanied by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, travelled by train for the first time from the capital city of Phnom Penh to southwestern Sihanoukville coast on Friday morning. (Xinhua/Sovannara)
PHNOM PENH, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni, accompanied by Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen, travelled by train for the first time from the capital city of Phnom Penh to southwestern Sihanoukville coast on Friday morning.
The king's trip was to view the railway which was constructed in the 1960s by his father, late King Norodom Sihanouk, said Transport Minister Sun Chanthol.
"The railway was built under the regime of King Father Norodom Sihanouk, so Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen wanted His Majesty the King to travel by train in order to see the achievement made by his father," he said.
Sihamoni's trip is also seen as an effort to increase the allure of train travel in the country.
"Traveling by train is a bit slower than travelling by car, but relaxed and safe," Chanthol said, adding that the full journey may take about seven hours.
Cambodia's passenger train services resumed regular weekend operations on the 266-km track between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville in late April after a 14-year hiatus.
The wagons can accommodate over 200 passengers, and the one-way ticket price is 6 U.S. dollars.
Cambodia has two lines of railroads. One southern line connects Phnom Penh to the seaport of Sihanoukville, and the other line in the north stretches from Phnom Penh to Poipet City and to Thailand with a distance of 385 kilometers.
The two lines, which had been built between 1929 and 1969, were damaged during decades of civil war.
In 2009, the Asian Development Bank and development partners provided a total of 141 million dollars to the country for the rehabilitation of the two rail networks.