The DMZ Train is a popular KORAIL sightseeing train which links Seoul with the North Korean border station at Dorasan within the Korean Demilitarized Zone. The DMZ Train takes the Gyeongui Line up to Dorasan, which in turn connects to the Pyongbu Line continuing on from Dorasan to Kaesong and thereafter onwards to Pyongyang. However, trains can only run up till Dorasan for now. As such, I got on the DMZ Train 4887 from Seoul to Dorasan in the hopes of finding fellow railway fan Kim Jong-un since I missed the opportunity to see him in Singapore the last time he came here.
I headed to the Old Seoul Station first to get some day time shots.
The facade of the Old Seoul Station against the current Seoul Station.
An information board about the Old Seoul Station, which is now a cultural complex called Culture Seoul Station 284.
Some political movement going on outside Seoul Station.
Heading back to the current Seoul Station to continue on my train journey.
Heading up to Seoul Station.
Heading in to Seoul Station.
The ticket concourse of Seoul Station.
My redeemed KORAIL ticket from Seoul to Dorasan on the DMZ Train with my Flexible 2 Days KORAIL Pass.
Some special terms and conditions in Korean on using the DMZ Train. Sounds fun already.
Heading out to the concourse to the platforms.
Checking my DMZ Train 4887 platform on the departure screen.
Hmm, less than 30 minutes to departure but still no platform number.
The platform number for my DMZ Train 4887 only showed up 13 minutes before departure. Argh.
Heading down to Track 14 to catch my DMZ Train 4887.
Standing by for the arrival of the DMZ Train 4887.
The departure screen at Track 14 for the DMZ Train 4887.
The underpass to the AREX concourse is after Track 14.
An awkward 3 Car Stop sign in the middle of this busy railway hub.
More passengers came down to the platform nearing departure time.
And here comes the DMZ Train 4887 arriving 3 minutes before departure time.
The destination sign of the DMZ Train 4887. The train starts from Yongsan, 1 station before Seoul Station.
The DMZ Train 4887 at Seoul Station.
Heading to board the DMZ Train 4887 as it was very near departure time and Seoul Station is just an intermediate station.
The interior of the DMZ Train formed of a refurbished Commuter Diesel Car (CDC) trainset.
The route map of the DMZ Train.
Mugunghwa flower motifs line the end of the train car near the cab.
Old photos of the line to Dorasan line the top of the train car.
The plastic refurbishment plate of HMS in the DMZ Train CDC.
The car number can be found at the ends of the car.
The train walls are lined with the words “Peace”, “Love” and “Harmony” in a variety of languages.
The generous legroom on board the DMZ Train.
The view of the colourful interior of the DMZ Train from my seat.
Taking a right curve out of Seoul Station towards Haengsin, Munsan and Dorasan.
A staff hands out lanyards while another checks for tickets. Blue lanyards are given to those with the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour package included, while yellow is for those who have yet to purchase the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour package.
Passing by a maintenance vehicle.
Another staff then comes around with a form to fill up.
Looks like it’s a form to enter Dorasan Station. Not sure what I’m signing my life away with those terms and conditions at the bottom though.
The form comes with a souvenir KORAIL pen which was nice.
The Gyeongui-Jungang Line tracks popping out from the underground.
Passing by an ITX-Saemaul train set in Susaek depot.
Passing by more trains in Susaek depot.
Not sure what this colourful train is.
Passing through Susaek station.
A Mugunghwa train in Susaek depot.
I was given a yellow lanyard as my ticket does not include the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour.
Turning away from Haengsin depot where KTX trains are stabled.
Another staff came around to sell me the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour package since my Flexible 2 Days KORAIL Pass only includes the DMZ Train ticket. The DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour package costs ₩18,000 (~S$20.75) for adults.
I paid for my DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour by Visa on board the DMZ Train with no problems.
Heading on north on the Gyeongui Line.
Approaching Munsan station.
Making a brief stop at Munsan station.
Munsan station is also the terminus of the Gyeongui-Jungang Line on the Seoul Metropolitan Subway.
Exiting Munsan station onto the single track.
Crossing over National Route 1 looking towards North Korea.
Heading on to the rural part of the Gyeongui Line.
Making a stop at Imjingang station.
All passengers must disembark from the DMZ Train at Imjingang station for security clearance.
Heading down the steps of the DMZ Train.
Following the crowd for the security checks.
Heading out of the Imjingang station platform.
Looks like the security check was simpler than I thought, with checks taking place just at the entrance to the platform. Meanwhile, the crowd forms a queue in a U-shape which oops back to the platform entrance.
Looking back at the cleared empty platform and DMZ Train.
Looking towards Imjingang and the DMZ.
Hmm, is there a public bus service?
Looping back at the queue towards the security checks.
Looks like this is just a temporary solution till the end of 2019.
Looking at the actual Imjingang station building.
Passports and the permission form that was handed out in the DMZ Train earlier are checked here by South Korean soldiers before being allowed back into the train. Feels almost like clearing immigration to catch the train to North Korea.
Heading back to re-board the DMZ Train.
The DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour desk is in Car 2.
The price list for the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour.
DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour itineraries can be picked up here too.
The overall interior of Car 2.
The overall map of the DMZ and the small section of Dorasan which the train is taking everyone to.
The windmill motifs on each seat.
Seats at the end of the car faces the windows for a truly panoramic view.
Hmm, not sure if this is a real movie or just an advertisement.
The overall interior of Car 2.
The walls around the gangway are filled with words of “Peace”, “Love” and “Harmony” in a variety of languages.
The toilet is camouflaged by the wall of text.
Inside the toilet of the DMZ Train.
Soap is provided by the wash basin.
The toilet looks bigger with the half height mirror.
A ventilation window is also available.
The conveniently placed door handle and lock.
A rather familiar Korean toilet door lock to me.
Ready to depart from Imjingang station.
South Korean soldiers join the train at Imjingang heading to Dorasan.
The itinerary of my DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour later on.
Heading on to the Civilian Control Line.
Both sides of the track are lined with the CCL fences.
Heading past the railway guard post into the secured area between the CCL and DMZ.
The vast landscape before the Imjin River.
Crossing the Bridge of Freedom over the Imjin River.
Looking down to the mouth of the Imjin River where it meets the Han River to Seoul on the left or the Yellow Sea on the right.
Another set of fences on the other side of the Imjin River. The Imjin River forms a natural Civilian Control Line in Paju.
Passing the signals into Dorasan station.
The metal gates into Dorasan station.
Heading to Platform 1.
The longer platforms 2, 3, 4 and 5 for KTX services and Inter-Korean services.
Entering Dorasan station.
The platforms look capable for Inter-Korean services to commence any time.
Preparing to get off the DMZ Train at Dorasan station.
Heading down the steps of the DMZ Train.
The DMZ Train at Dorasan station.
The station sign at Dorasan station.
Some sleepers and George Bush at Platform 1.
The DMZ Train and Dorasan station.
Heading to the shelter under the station building where soldiers and staff are getting people to queue at.
Joining the queue to exit the station, while staff counts off passengers to be placed in buses.
The DMZ Train moves back from the platform to stable.
The empty tracks at Dorasan station.
Grand plans for Dorasan station as the frontier to the Trans-Korean Main Line and Trans-Eurasian Railway Network.
The Trans-Korean Railway will be able to connect directly with the Trans-Manchurian Railway to continue on to Russia, Poland, Germany, France and the UK.
The border links of North Korea with other neighbouring railways.
Heading out of the platform.
A commemoration plate of the cross-border test train from South Korea to North Korea and back on 17 May 2007.
Heading out of the turnstile with a South Korean soldier counting off the number of passengers.
Once out, passengers have a bit of time to look through the exhibitions and use the toilet before boarding the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour bus.
Kim and Moon at Panmunjom.
Kim and Moon having tea.
The toilet entrance is decorated with paintings of the last train out and the future train in.
The famous sign of Dorasan station as the gateway to North Korea.
The transcript of George Bush’s speech at Dorasan.
A signed concrete sleeper by George Bush on 20 February 2002.
Another signed sleeper by then-President of South Korea Kim Dae Jung for the groundbreaking of the Gyeongui Line.
The overall concourse of Dorasan station.
The transfer concourse to North Korea.
The map of the Trans-Korean Railway and Trans-Eurasian Railway Network sits above the entrance to the checkpoint to North Korea.
Overall, a pleasant ride on the DMZ Train, with the ability to almost say that you took the train from South Korea to North Korea. Now, on to the DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour.
Here’s a preview to the next post with a video done by my DMZ Train Dorasan Security Bus Tour tour guide: