Cambodia currently has three train lines. The shortest and newest of these train lines runs from the centre of Phnom Penh to Phnom Penh International Airport.
About the shuttle train to Phnom Penh International Airport
The airport shuttle train follows a 9.2 km long route from Phnom Penh Railway Station to Phnom Penh International Airport, or at least it did until the service was suspended in August 2020 as a consequence of a lack of travellers following the near complete stoppage of international flights into and from Phnom Penh.
The service first started in April 2018 and lots of people, local and foreign, used the shuttle train particularly for the first few months when it was free. The reason for the popularity of the train service is principally because the traffic congestion on the roads in and around Phnom Penh which is probably the worst of any city in South East Asia, including Bangkok. Although it’s only 9 km from Phnom City Centre to Phnom Penh International Airport, the journey by car or bus can take up to an hour, whereas the shuttle train completed the journey in 35 to 45 minutes. The shuttle train is also air-conditioned and has a toilet. The price of the journey by train to the airport, $2.50 USD, is also only a third of the cost of travelling by taxi or tuk-tuk.
Whilst the shuttle train service to and from Phnom Penh International Airport has lots of good points in terms of speed, comfort and price, there are also some downsides to the service. The first issue with the shuttle train is that is doesn’t run to timetable. The service is meant to start from Phnom Penh Railway Station at 06:00, with the last train to the airport departing at 07:30, and services in the opposite direction from Phnom Penh International Airport to Phnom Penh Railway Station are scheduled to commence at 06:35, with the final train at 20:05. However, the time table planners have been a bit too optimistic in terms of running times, and the first train of the day from Phnom Penh tended to be the only train which departed on time.
The second issue with the shuttle train service is that the final part of the railway line to the airport runs along the middle of the busy 105K Street. Car users and local residents complained right from the start about the inconvenience caused and the noise the shuttle train made as passed along the street, and a mostly undocumented number of accidents have occurred involving collisions between the train and cars and pedestrians.
Nonetheless, despite the problems with the shuttle service, and the fact that the train tracks on 105K Street have been concreted over, we expect the shuttle train service to become fully operational again by the end of 2022. The shuttle train was a good idea and it was popular, and the Cambodian government is actively seeking to develop its transport infrastructure.
Other Ways to travel to Phnom Penh International Airport
Whilst the shuttle train service to Phnom Penh International Airport is supended, there are 3 other public transport options for travel between Phnom Penh city centre and Phnom Penh International Airport:
- Bus: $0.40 USD one way (fixed fare).
- Remorque (tuk-tuk): $9 to $12 dependent on distance (please note that only official airport tuk-tuk drivers abide by fixed fares).
- Taxi: $9 to $15 dependent on distance (please note that only official airport taxi drivers abide by fixed fares).
Location of Phnom Penh Train Station
Read more about Phnom Penh Railway Station.