When the Khmer Rouge came to power in Cambodia in the ’70s they destroyed much infrastructure, including the railroad. And as Cambodia has been rebuilding, the railroad is coming back.
Poipet is the main crossing point between Cambodia and Thailand. Here is Lonely Planet’s description of Poipet…
Long the armpit of Cambodia, notorious for its squalor, scams and sleaze, Poipet (ប៉ោយប៉ែត, pronounced ‘poi-peh’ in Khmer) has recently splurged on a facelift and no longer looks like the post-apocalyptic place it once was. Thanks mainly to the patronage of neighbouring Thais, whose own country bans gambling, its casino resorts – with names like Tropicana and Grand Diamond City – are turning the town into Cambodia’s little Las Vegas. However, beyond the border zone it’s still a chaotic, trash-strewn strip mall sprinkled with dodgy massage parlours. The Khmers’ gentle side is little in evidence, but don’t worry, the rest of the country does not carry on like this.
As the railroad is being rebuilt, it will eventually link Bangkok to Phnom Penh. That railroad will run right through Poipet.
Just as you enter into Poipet from Thailand, there is a roundabout (Kbal Spean Circle in above picture) which then leads on to the main road through the city. The train will come straight through that roundabout (the busiest road in town) and then run south of the main road through the current slum area.
I don’t even want to think of how busy that border crossing area is going to be when the rail is finished and the train is running.
Here are some photos of that border crossing over the years….