Demonstration train makes run between Rajin and Khasan
A demonstration train made a run between Rajin in North Korea to Khasan in Russia
on 13 October 2011. The run marked the end of the first stage in reconstructing the
railway line between Rajin and Khasan. A meeting was held in the "House of Friendship
between Russia and North Korea" near the border railway station of Tumangan in North
Korea to celebrate. Taking part in the celebration were Valery Reshetnikov, Senior
Vice-President at Russian Railways, Mikhail Zaichenko, Head of Far Eastern Railways,
Ju Jae Dok, North Korea’s Deputy Minister of Railways and other officials.
"This stretch of railway line is part of a pilot project to restore the entire
Trans-Korean Main Line for its integration into the Trans-Siberian Railway. This includes
developing a major transit hub at the port of Rajin," said Valeriy Reshetnikov.
In the last three years, experts from Russian and Korean railways and the builders
have completed a considerable amount of work. To date, a new 32-km combined-gauge
track for handling trains using both the 1520mm broad-gauge track and the narrower
1435mm track has been laid on the stretch between Rajin and Tumangan on the border
with Russia and major track repairs carried out on 20 kilometres – work on replacing
the track superstructure will continue even after the demonstration train’s
run. Switching points and additional receiving-departure lines have also been completed
and a number of stations reconstructed. Work has also begun in the tunnels, main communication
and electric centralisation lines have been laid and drainage facilities restored.
The next step will be the construction of a modern cargo terminal at the port of
Rajin. Russian coal for export will be the first commodity to be shipped along the
reconstructed line. The capacity of the new infrastructure is designed to handle
up to 5 million tons of coal.
At the same time, a study is also being carried out to assess the feasibility of
using the newly-built infrastructure for the trans-shipment of containerised cargo
from South Korea and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region with access to the
Russian railway network, as originally planned.
Michael Zaichenko pointed out that to ensure that the projected freight volumes
going forward can be handled, it will be necessary carry out a major upgrade of the
infrastructure between Baranovsky and Khasan, which link the Trans-Korean Main Line
with the Trans-Siberian Railway.
Achieving this aim will require the construction of sidings and the reconstruction
of stations, lengthening receiving-departure lines, opening previously suspended sidings,
overhauling track at a number of station-to-station blocks and installing modern power
and electrical equipment. Completing this work, however, will increase the carrying
capacity of this stretch to 17 million tons per year.
The total cost of the project to reconstruct the Khasan - Rajin railway line and
the construction of the container terminal at the port of Rajin is estimated at 8.3
The project began three 3 years ago, in October 2008, when Russian Railways and
North Korea’s Ministry of Railways signed an agreement to cooperate on the project.
A joint venture, RasonKonTrans, was then set up, with the Russian side holding 70%
of the new entity’s charter capital and the Korean side the remaining 30%.
In 2009, RasonKonTrans began the practical implementation phase of the project
and now handles both the project management and the coordination of construction.
RasonKonTrans also signed a 49-year lease on the railway line between Tumangan and
Rajin with the company Tonkha, which is owned by North Korea’s Ministry of Railways.
Financing for the work will be provided by the charter capital of the joint venture
and loans the JV will attract based on the project’s business plan.