Cambodia has unveiled plans to invest around $4bn to modernise its existing northern Phnom Penh-Poipet railway, reported Xinhua news agency.

This upgrade will help launch the first high-speed rail in the country, according to the Ministry of Public Works and Transport.

The preliminary results of the feasibility study have been submitted by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) to the ministry on the revamp of the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway.

Poipet city is said to share its border with Thailand.

According to a news release, “the preliminary results showed that the 382-km rail line requires an investment capital of more than $4bn, including electric locomotives and carriages, and the construction will take about four years to complete.”

With a width of 1.43m, the high-speed rail can attain a speed of 160km per hour.

Featuring a total of 33 stations, the line will have more than 300 overpasses along the route.

Construction work on the rail project is anticipated to begin within a short time.

The high-speed rail will primarily provide passenger and freight services between Cambodia and Thailand besides other countries in The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Cambodia Public Works and Transport Minister was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The northern Phnom Penh-Poipet high-speed rail will importantly serve transportation and promote socioeconomic growth, especially in the provinces and cities along the rail.”

At present, Cambodia operates two railroad lines. The 382km northern line connects Phnom Penh with Poipet city, while the 266km southern line links Phnom Penh with the international seaport province of Preah Sihanouk.