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The Bamboo Train – Cambodia’s Answer to a Fast and Reliable Train Service

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By now some of you may have heard of Battambang’s famous Bamboo Train. These are homemade bamboo railcars with makeshift engines that propel the cart up and down train tracks, with speeds reaching up to 40 km/hr.

Wait, why won’t they just use the regular train service? That’s because it is limited and runs at a very slow pace. Also known as the Nori or Lori, these makeshift trains were built to meet the demand of travelers to and from Phnom Penh and Battambang. There are some quirks though. There is only one line, so if two trains meet the conductors of each Nori negotiate which train should be dismantled and put aside (usually the train with the lightest load). That’s right, one train actually has to be stripped and taken apart and left to the side so the other can pass. The process of dismantling and re-building the train is surprisingly quick. After all they are the Bamboo Train experts. Give it a try. It is quite fun and actually pretty safe.

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