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Cambodian ingenuity finds new use for near abandoned rail system

  • 03
  • 05
  • 2016

Railways have always been an incredibly useful tool for transport. Their capacity and relative ease of upkeep have kept them in operation even while the rest of the transportation world continues to evolve. The tracks often last for many decades, even when abandoned and left to weather the forces of nature.


In some countries, such as Cambodia, these railways have been largely abandoned, despite their undiminished usefulness. Since traditional trains and their cargo rarely use the Cambodian system anymore, Cambodian locals have designed and implemented their own custom vehicles to take advantage of the lack of train traffic.

These makeshift track-based craft, which the locals refer to as norrys, are built from all types of scrap, from wood pallets to parts of old tanks. They usually resemble a simple platform which is mounted upon the railway tracks.

Rides on these only cost about 50 cents per journey and have so far been of an enormous help to the Cambodian rural community.

Aside from the recent advantage of receiving motorized power supplies, making the old bamboo pushing pole method obsolete, these little platforms have the additional advantage of allowing a quick escape, in the rare terrifying occasion that the participants find themselves approaching an actual train.


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