photo via Adaptive Reuse
Cambodia has one railway line, laid down by the French during their colonial occupation. The antiquated tracks are no longer safe for trains to run on, and as a result, there aren't any.
The locals, however, aren't about to let a potentially useful piece of infrastructure go to waste. In the area near the western Cambodian towns of Battambang and Poipet, the locals produce what are known as norry: Lightweight, powered railcars built from a wooden frame, bamboo slats, and steel wheels from decommissioned tanks. Two men can get the thing on or off the tracks in less than a minute.
photo via Andy's Cambodia
Norry were initially powered by poles, like earthbound gondolas, but eventually some locals got their hands on a two-stroke engine and figured out how to drive the axle via belt.
photo via Weekly Wanders
By using a stick to increase or decrease tension on the belt, the "engineer" can induce belt slippage as a rudimentary form of throttle control. Braking is provided via a foot pedal that contacts one of the wheels through the platform, using raw friction. The motors caught on and the pole-drive has gone by the wayside.
Here's a look at a norry being assembled and going into action:What's most impressive, at least to an American like me used to witnessing self-entitled U.S. motorists and passive-aggressive elbow-armrest-wrestling on airplanes, is the etiquette system worked out for when one norry meets another, head-to-head. The railway is a single line, and when two norry encounter each other going in opposite directions, right-of-way is dictated by weight/convenience. Whichever car has less people simply break the contraption down and pull it off the tracks to let the other pass. Cars with more people, or those carrying a motorbike, which is relatively heavy, get to kick back. Check it out, and peep how easy the thing is to break down (action starts around 1:50):