CAMBODIA’s Royal Railway has confirmed that it has concluded a deal to purchase 11 class 183 KiHa DMU cars from JR Hokkaido.

The DMUs will be used on Royal Railway’s Phnom Penh - Poipet - Sihanoukville service, replacing existing locomotive-hauled trains as well as increasing the operational passenger fleet.

The trains were shipped from Hokkaido on April 15 and are scheduled to arrive at Sihanoukville Port in Cambodia on April 27.

Royal Railway confirmed to IRJ that the 1067mm-gauge trains will be adapted to operate on Cambodia’s 1000mm-gauge network, including by changing bogies and adjusting brake holders. With no other major adaptation required, the hope is for the trains to enter service in June.

The class 183s date from 1981 and were used by JR Hokkaido and JR Kyushu. A total of 36 cars were built, the last of which were withdrawn from Okhotsk and Taisetsu services operated by JR Hokkaido in 2023. JR Hokkaido has previously donated or sold class 183s to State Railway of Thailand, Myanmar Railways, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.