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Don's Rail Photos

Korean Narrow Gauge



Early in February, 1953, I arrived in Korea and was sent to Yongdong Po in the Seoul area to begin my service as a train dispatcher. Within a week I was on the road to Taejon, the division point, to familiarize myself with my territory. About 20 miles south of Yongdong Po is the city of Suwon. It is now part of the metropolitan area of Seoul with high tech manufacturers having their headquarters there, but in 1953 it was a medium size city which served as the nearest town to K13 air base. It was also the headquarters of the only remaining narrow gauge line in operation in South Korea. The gauge was 762 mm which is 30 inches.

The line ran east from Suwon to Yoju, approximately 30 miles, and northwest to Suin (South Inchon), which was also approximately 30 miles. In order to appreciate the location, I copied the following maps. The first is a topographic map which shows Yoju, Suwon, and Inchon. On the second map, which shows the railroads, I have added the narrow gauge line.

The Yoju line had one train a day which was a mixed train. It was totally rural as you shall later see. The Suin line was more developed and ran several passenger trains plus freight trains. It also served as the right of way for gasoline pipe lines from the port at Inchon to Suwon for K13. In the next two chapters we will look at the motive power, and then we will report on two fantrips over these lines.


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