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Old December 11th, 2007, 05:21 AM   #21
hkskyline
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Cargo Trains Begin Service in Koreas
10 December 2007

DORASAN STATION, South Korea (AP) - The first cargo train providing regular service across the border between the two Koreas in more than a half-century left Tuesday for the North. The 12-car train carrying construction materials will cross through the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone dividing the peninsula on its journey to the North Korean border city of Kaesong, where the two Koreas operate a joint industrial zone. It was to cross back later Tuesday.

The service is one of the tangible results of an October summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun that outlined a series of joint projects. It comes months after the two sides conducted a one-time test run of passenger trains on two reconnected tracks on the western and eastern sides of the peninsula.

The cargo train will make a 10-mile round trip every weekday to North Korea.

It remains unclear whether regular passenger train service will start anytime soon, but one of the train's engineers was hopeful Tuesday.

"I expect a day will come when South Koreans visit North Korean tourist attractions freely by train," Shin Jang-chul, whose parents are from what is now North Korea, told reporters before departing.

South Korea hopes the inter-Korean railway will ultimately be linked through North Korea to Russia's Trans-Siberian railroad and allow an overland route connecting the peninsula to Europe -- significantly cutting delivery times for freight that now requires sea transport.

The cargo rail service is likely to give a further boost to the sprawling Kaesong complex, which marries South Korean technology and management expertise with North Korea's cheap labor.

Currently, 64 South Korean companies operate factories there, employing about 21,600 North Korean workers and producing a range of goods including watches, clothing and shoes.

South Korea hopes the Kaesong project will encourage isolated North Korea to reform its centrally controlled economy and eventually open up to the outside world.

The rail lines between the Koreas were severed shortly after the outbreak of the 1950 Korean War. The conflict ended in a 1953 cease-fire that has never been replaced by a peace treaty, leaving the sides technically at war.

Already, dozens of cars, trucks and buses regularly cross the border between the two Koreas via reconnected roads both to the Kaesong complex and also to a tourism resort at North Korea's Diamond Mountain.

The transport links between North and South were reconnected after the first-ever summit between leaders of the divided nation in 2000.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 04:07 AM   #22
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This is so historic for both Koreas.

This is the first step.

There's no doubt.
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Old December 12th, 2007, 03:33 PM   #23
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A train passes the gate for the Demilitarized Zone as South Koreans wave unification flags near Dorasan Station near Paju, South Korea, Thursday, May 17, 2007. Trains departed for the first rail journey across the heavily armed border dividing the two Koreas in more than half a century, the latest symbol of historic reconciliation between the longtime foes. (Lee Jin-man, Pool/AP Photo)
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:44 AM   #24
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I was in Seoul for a week in mid Nov and took the opportunity to visit the DMZ with a tour which included a quick 5 min stop at Dorasan station. I've finally found some time to post some pics. Unfortunately, the weather was cold and misty so some of the outside pics are not so good.










The above mentioned TransAsian link is displayed on a map inside the station.


Scale model of the station. North Korea to the right.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 09:55 AM   #25
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The station is in the DMZ just south of the line of control.


Platform 1 looking towards North Korean direction. No heavy traffic as yet of course!


Platform 1 looking towards South Korean direction.


There are a few scheduled services a day between Seoul and stations just before the DMZ.

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Old January 31st, 2008, 09:33 AM   #26
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Two Koreas discuss changes to cross-border train service

SEOUL, Jan 29, 2008 (AFP) - Officials from North and South Korea met Tuesday to discuss changes to a historic cross-border railway freight service after the North proposed cutting the frequency due to a lack of cargo.

The first regular train service for half a century across the heavily fortified frontier began last month and was hailed as a landmark in reconciliation. But it has carried relatively little cargo.

The two sides will also discuss a project to repair the rail line all the way up to Sinuiju on the North's border with China following an agreement at an inter-Korean summit last October, Seoul's unification ministry said.

"They will discuss ways to improve the railway freight service... and review the issues related to the repair of the railway between Kaesong and Sinuiju," it said in a statement.

The train, which runs five days a week, currently halts near a Seoul-funded industrial estate at Kaesong just north of the border. But it has been carrying little cargo to and from the estate because factory owners find it more convenient to use trucks.

On some days last month the train was running empty, according to South Korean state railway officials at the time. They said it would be continued because of its symbolic significance.

During talks last Friday the North Koreans proposed reducing the frequency of the service.

Tuesday's meeting will likely focus on reducing the size of the 12-wagon trains used on the line and other details, said ministry officials quoted by Yonhap news agency.

Some 20,000 North Koreans produce clothes, utensils, watches and other labour-intensive goods for South Korean firms in Kaesong, earning around 60 dollars a month.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 06:21 PM   #27
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Koreas agree to 'flexibly' run cross-border railway
1 February 2008
The Korea Herald

The two Koreas agreed to continue daily cross-border freight train services along the east coast, but adjust the size of the train according to demand.

It was part of the agreements reached at the first working-group committee meeting on railway cooperation in Gaeseong on Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the Unification Ministry said.

In a landmark development last year, the two Koreas began daily cargo trains on Dec. 11 between Munsan of South Korea and Bongdong of North Korea. The train has been 12 carriages-long, but usually empty due to miniscule demand.

At the talks, the two sides also discussed ways to simplify customs procedures and refurbish rail lines in time for the Beijing Summer Olympics, but did not reach a compromise, the ministry said.

While the South wanted a closer on-sight examination, the North wanted an immediate start on the work, inside sources said.

The latest meeting was part of a scurry of follow-up discussions to the Oct. 4 inter-Korean summit talks.

North Koreans attending the gathering "appeared to be keeping in check what is going on in the South (following the presidential election), while at the same time maintaining inter-Korean relations momentum," an inside source familiar with the talks said on condition of anonymity.

Since South Korea's presidential race in which "pragmatic conservative" Lee Myung-bak was elected, the two Koreas have held a total of five different working-level meetings on such issues as defense, maritime cooperation, establishing a peace zone in the West Sea, and opening a cross-border railway for the Beijing Olympics.

Most of the inter-Korean talks are being arranged by the Unification Ministry, which Lee has pledged to amalgamate with the Foreign Ministry in his administration.
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Old September 9th, 2012, 09:30 PM   #28
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I hope to enjoy these ... this country's customs are the most amusing Asian ones




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Old September 9th, 2012, 11:25 PM   #29
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Those were fascinating. NK is an amazing enigma and a country I'd like to visit.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 12:45 AM   #30
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Yep ... the descriptions I'd read earlier this summer match the bottom two vids I've just watched ... the music's a bit much to the last one (& to its part 2), eh? The lengthy first video starts out with a score too
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Old September 10th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #31
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The third video has a good train race clip in it.
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Old September 10th, 2012, 01:11 AM   #32
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Wasn't it filmed well? I'm glad somebody's picked up on it.
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Old December 14th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #33
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In september I have been on a special railway tour to North Korea.


Some impressions of the trip I'd like to share here in this thread:
train trip Sinuiji - Pyongyang:




train trip Pyongyang - Hyangsan:


train trip Hyangsan - Pyongyang:


train trip Pyongyang - Hamhung:
















train trip Hamhung - Wonsan:







train trip Wonsan - Pyongyang:













----


If you're interested in North Korea you will probably also like the travel report of my trip in 2008. On this trip we entered the country via the Russian/North Korean border at Khasan/Tumangang and then went by train across whole country from the North-East via Chongjin, Hamhung to Pyongyang - a route which before hadn't been used by western tourists for a long time and which is officially not available for tourists.

The report is available at http://vienna-pyongyang.blogspot.co.at/
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Old December 14th, 2013, 04:35 PM   #34
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I didn't know you were one of the two authors of that blog...thank you for all your reports!
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 12:37 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coccodrillo View Post
I didn't know you were one of the two authors of that blog...thank you for all your reports!
Thanks for the feedback.


Part 3 is now online: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=94281
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 12:58 AM   #36
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It is very sad to see North Korea (a wonderful country) under this whimsical and destructive dictatorship... If this dictatorial regime doesn't exist, it would be possible to use NK railway network for transporting loads from Japan to Europe (Germany, England, Spain and so Portugal) by train without problems or barriers.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 05:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
It is very sad to see North Korea (a wonderful country) under this whimsical and destructive dictatorship... If this dictatorial regime doesn't exist, it would be possible to use NK railway network for transporting loads from Japan to Europe (Germany, England, Spain and so Portugal) by train without problems or barriers.
Well, it's still likely to happen in foreseeable future, NK seams to be more willing to participate in international projects lately.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 09:47 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
it would be possible to use NK railway network for transporting loads from Japan to Europe (Germany, England, Spain and so Portugal) by train without problems or barriers.
Just in September 2013 the railway between Russia and a sea-port in NK was reconstructed (Khasan - Rajin) in order to connect this port with Transsiberian Railway and use it to transport goods to/from Asia-Pacific region countries.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodalvesdepaula View Post
It is very sad to see North Korea (a wonderful country) under this whimsical and destructive dictatorship... If this dictatorial regime doesn't exist
This forum seems to be not about politics, so please keep in your mind.
You can find many forums where you can judge and tell everyone what you think about NK.
But here is about transport. Thank You.
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Old April 7th, 2014, 06:46 PM   #39
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So...apparently, China wants to build a HSR link from Sinuiju in the northeast of the DPRK to Kaeseong, just north of the DMZ. My Korean is patchy enough that I don't know who or what is intended to use this service, or if it will be connected with Dandong and mesh with Chinese HSR services. However, construction is expected to take 6 years (I didn't see when construction will start), cost 15 billion USD, and the Chinese will hold rights of operation for 30 years.

Source: http://news.kbs.co.kr/news/NewsView....=2840842&ref=A

Edit: Now, I have a piece in the Hankyoreh saying about the line, "376 km in length and connect Sinuiju with Chongju, Sukchon, Pyongyang, Haeju, and Kaesong, with the five-year construction beginning in 2018 with a budget of US$21 billion". Hopefully this will be cleared up soon.

Source: http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/engli...ea/631550.html
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Old April 8th, 2014, 10:54 PM   #40
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^ My guess is that China hopes to one day connect it's HSR network with South Korea's (Seoul to Busan line, and a couple of others).
The problem is that North Korea doesn't have HSR at the moment, so China getting construction started using their own investment would be a great first step in achieving this as their long-term goal to connect with the Koreas to improve land based trade and passenger flow once NK opens up more (or experiences regime change).
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