Russian railwaymen examine new section of the future transkorean main line in North Korea

Russian railwaymen will examine in North Korea a 100 km new section of the future Transkorean main line before the end of the year, said director of the Dalzheldorproyekt institute Anatoly Lyubarsky. In 2001, as a member of an expedition composed of specialists and designers, he fully examined 781 km of the future line which will connect the north and south of the Korean Peninsula. Technical documents for the reconstruction of the line and building new sections of the Transkorean main line were compiled on the basis of this expedition's results and handed over to the Russian ministry of railways. On November 25th, 35 specialists will again leave for the DPRK in a special train to additionally examine one of the line's sections.

According to Anatoly Lyubarsky, the point at issue is that the memorandum of Russian and Korean railwaymen signed in November 2002 stipulates the change of the route of the Transkorean main line and its shift closer to the sea.

The Russian side has already begun the modernisation of a 240-km section of the Far Eastern railway - from the border station of Khasan bordering on the North Korea to its connection with the Transsiberian railway near the station of Baranovskaya.

According to data provided by the Russian ministry of railways, if the project of connecting the Transkorean and Transsiberian railways is successful Russia will be able to transport 500,000 containers a year. The revenues from this transportation will be more than one billion dollars. However, the Russian side is ready to participate in this project only on condition of guaranteed volumes of rail freightage.