Cambodian and Thai leaders mark reopening of rail link

Cambodian and Thai leaders mark reopening of rail link
Railroad maintenance workers fix tracks outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, April 22, 2019. The Cambodian-Thailand cross-border line has been not used for more than four decades due to Cambodia's civil war. In recent years the railroad has been renovated and both countries are looking to re-establish the rail link by the end of the year, local media say. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The leaders of Cambodia and Thailand have met to mark the ceremonial reopening of a rail link that will restore train service between the two countries after more than four decades.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Thai counterpart, Prayuth Chan-ocha, took a brief train ride Monday across the border from Thailand’s Aranyaprathet to Cambodia’s Poipet to celebrate the occasion. Each also shoveled some cement to mark the completion of a nearby cross-border bridge for automotive traffic.

Thai officials said regular cross-border rail service is expected to be restored soon. The two leaders signed an agreement on operating the cross-border rail link.

Service between the two countries was suspended in the early 1970s when the track was destroyed during Cambodia’s civil war.