Imagine how this ship of fools looks to people it passes by.

Not to be a buzz kill, but isn’t this a little over the top?

3 Responses to “The Other Side Of The Tracks”

  1. Jinja says:

    Response from Alexis de Suremain, owner of ‘The Plantation.’

    This train trip is organized in order to certify the Cambodian drivers on steam engines. Steve, an Australian instructor, is giving his free time for this. On our side we try to cover most of the costs that Toll Royal Railways has on this trip. The trip indeed requires 3 locomotives (one 1km ahead of the train to inform people and secure the way), the steam locomotive (which is being prepared 12 hours ahead) and a diesel locomotive as a backup and that pulls the passengers wagons back. There are two people placed at each crossroad to secure the traffic. There are about 25 people from the Plantation that will be working on the logistics and the service on board. The 35 USD are meant to partially cover those costs. I indeed truly believe steam trains can be an interesting addition to Phnom Penh which lacks tourism attractions. The 1920 steam locomotive is an real piece of heritage, it is the only working one left in the country and I would like to contribute to keep it alive.

  2. Jinja says:

    Thanks Alexis, for your thoughtful and cogent response.

    Cambodia has some amazing rail history, from the ad-hoc ‘norry’ to the current rehabilitation of the system. What bears watching is how this rehabilitation will be accomplished – and if communities near and affected by the rail will see some benefit.

    In a situation where hundreds of people are faced with the possibility of losing their homes, a party atmosphere seemed – to me – a bit incongruous. And the above illustration was my knee-jerk response.

    Cheers for taking the high road (track) and making your case. Rail party aficionados may be justified in thinking my above picture crude and rude. I do hope discussion about just where these rails are taking us will continue.
    Regards – J

  3. Jinja says:

    47 Comments later…

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