From Banon Bamboo Train: "The bamboo train (or Norrie as it's known locally) made its first appearance in the early 1980s inspired by the small rail vehicles used by the railway workers to carryout repairs. At the time having just emerged from the years of Khmer Rouge lunacy, Cambodians were struggling to rebuild their lives and the country was reestablishing its existence. With roads in disrepair coupled with few means of transport such as buses and motorbikes the Norrie was an ingenious and practical solution. With its launch the population now had an important albeit rudimentary transport system able to haul products produce and people at minimum cost. Although flimsy looking the bamboo construction is very strong. Cattle and pigs would be taken to market tons of vegetables and rice would be delivered people could get to clinics and in emergencies it would run at nighttime. To begin with Norries were muscle-powered using poles in much the same way a gondola small petrol engines were introduced after a couple of years. In its heyday during the 80s locals say there were more than a thousand Norries operating along the 600 kilometres of track in the country. Nowadays little more than a hundred are functional in a few provinces commonly running shorter distances than their glory days.
A reinvention of the famous bamboo rattler is presently nearing completion 500 metres from Wat Banan. The old track was closed in October 2017 to make way for the renovation of the state railway.
Rails and sleepers from the original route are being used to lay a purpose built 3km track, running through some stunning scenic countryside alongside the Banan hills.
The new track is set to open by mid Jan 2018 and tickets will be $5.
The new track is part of a larger tourism development project by a Khmer businessman.
*Shorter rides are being taken on the uncompleted track by tourists already at a reduced ticket fee."