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Don's Rail Photos

 Korean Narrow Gauge

United States Army Locomotives


In 1952, the United States Army ordered 8 locomotives in Japan to replace locomotives lost when the armies marched back and forth over most of South Korea in 1950 and 1951. James listing shows the locomotives as being built by Mitsubishi in 1952 (with questions), but he shows #7 as being built by Nippon in 1950, #1567. #6 had a builders plate showing Wakatsu Iron Works in 1931. It is likely that the locomotives came from Japanese narrow gauge lines and were rebuilt. It is interesting that in 1953, these locomotives already looked pretty ragged as you can see from the following photos.


1 was built by Mitsubishi in 1952.  It later became KNR HK-1 locomotive and is at the Childrens Grand Park in Seoul.

2, 2-6-2T.

3, 0-6-0T.

4, 0-6-0T.

5, 0-6-0T.

6, 2-4-2T, was built by Wakatsu Iron Works in 1931. It is likely that the locomotives came from Japanese narrow gauge lines and were rebuilt

And finally, the 2-8-2's, #7 and #8. And these are only 30 inch gauge!! They, too, became KNR locomotives. How about those elephant ears?

7 was built by Nippon in 1950, #1562.  It became KNR HK-7 and is in a park in Incheon.

8 was built by Mitsubishi in 1952.  It became KNR HK-8 and is at Heuksan / Sinan-gun Joennam.

I returned home from Korea on April 4, 1954. On April 1st, we turned the railroads back to Korean control. I think these locomotives were turned over to the KNR at that time or shortly afterwards. Our people never worked on these engines even before, but were always used and serviced by the Koreans. The major engine houses were supervised by GI's, but Suwon was not one of these. After several months dispatching, we found we had a surplus of dispatchers and a shortage of steam people. I transferred to B Company and went to Chyongyangni. Later, after my friend Charlie Ward went home (more about him later), I followed him into Yongsan (the main engine house at Seoul). Another facility of interest was the back shops at Yongdong Po. This is where I photographed the locomotives on flat cars after (or before) rebuilding.


Next we will give you a little tour of the lines as we had our railfan trips.


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