Young Pioneer Tours

Pyongyang Railway Station – DPRK Guide

Introduction

Pyongyang Railway Station (평양역) is the international, domestic and municipal railway hub in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. All inbound and outbound international train services from China and Russia begin and end from this central station. Pyongyang Train Station is the major transportation hub for the DPRK, along with Pyongyang Airport.

Pyongyang Railway Station Location

Pyongyang station is located in Central District where four major roads of the city meet in downtown Pyongyang making it the perfect transportation hub for the capital.

From the north is Changgwang street where the deluxe Koryo Hotel is a 10 minute walk from the station. Yonggwang street leads to the eastern direction where Kim Il Sung Square is located centrally in Pyongyang.

Yokjon street coming from the south where the road leads across the Taedong River to the Yanggakdo Hotel. Finally, Sosong street which leads you to Liberation street in the west where the Kwangbok Department Store and Youth Hotel are located.

There are multiple public transportation options available at the front of the railway station. Yonggwang station which is a part of the Chollima line of the Pyongyang Metro is located at the front of Pyongyang Railway Station. Line 1 of the Pyongyang tram network stops at the front of the train station as well as multiple bus routes which include the double decker bus route.

Tourist buses and vans used for foreign visitors, as well as taxis share the car park located at the front of the station throughout the day.

Pyongyang Railway Station History

The Pyongyang Railway Station was built by the occupied forces of Japan in 1906 and was a part of the Gyeongui Line that connected Seoul in South Korea to the North Korean border city of Sinuiju in North Pyongan province. The line was later extended by force to the Chinese border city of Dandong formerly in Manchuria via the Sino-Korean Friendship bridge.

The line proved popular and a new railway station was built in Pyongyang during the 1920s to accommodate the increase number of passengers and trains. The structure of this new Pyongyang station resembled the old railway station in Seoul. However, during the Korean War (1950-1953) the station along with the majority of Pyongyang was totally destroyed.

The Pyongyang Station that remains in use today was rebuilt in 1958 by the North Koreans using Soviet architecture designs. It is one of the most unique and recognisable buildings in Pyongyang which is worth a quick stop for a photograph from the square located just at the front of the station.

During 2011 a large jumbo LED screen was installed at the front square which displays propaganda music and live news in the evening. In 2019 the waiting room located inside the station was modernised as the old retro comfortable sofas were replaced with new waiting seats found at most modern airports these days.

Pyongyang Railway Station Timetable

Pyongyang Station serves international destinations to both China and Russia, as well as domestic destinations within the DPRK such as Sinuiju, Wonsan, Haeju, Kaesong, Pyongsong, Samjiyon, Hamhung, Chongjin, and Rason – the special economic zone. However, only international trains are accessible to foreign tourists.

China

The international train from Dandong (the border town city of China) to Pyongyang departs Dandong Railway Station every morning at 10:10am and arrives into Pyongyang Railway Station at 6:45pm. The international train from Beijing to Pyongyang departs Beijing Railway Station on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 5:27pm. All other days require a transfer at Dandong Railway Station from the domestic train from Beijing to Dandong, and onto the international train from Dandong to Pyongyang.

The international train from Pyongyang to Dandong departs every morning at 10:25am and arrives into Dandong 4:30pm. Train services continuing onwards to Beijing Railway Station are available only on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Immigration is conducted at Sinuiju Railway Station for passengers entering and exiting the DPRK.

The train journey between Dandong and Pyongyang is 5 hours, with 1 hour and 45 minutes immigration process at Sinuiju. The train journey between Beijing and Pyongyang is 14 hours in total. The train has proven to be more reliable over the years with more journeys arriving on time.

There is a North Korean and Chinese train that operates the Dandong – Pyongyang route. The North Korean train was purchased from Shenyang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co. in 2015 and is a modern sleeper train. The Chinese train is a 2008 model, whilst older than the North Korean train it is still comfortable to enjoy your unique journey in and out of North Korea.

The domestic train between Sinuiju – the border town city of North Korea, and Pyongyang operators daily and is attached to the international train and operates on the same schedule. If you partake in our Sinuiju overnight extension you will be riding this train with locals.

Russia

The international train from Moscow to Pyongyang operates six times a month and departs from Moscow Yaroslavski Station at 11:45pm. The international train from Pyongyang to Moscow also operates six times a month departing Pyongyang at 7:50am. This route operates along the Trans-Siberian Railway to the Russian border town of Ussuriysk connecting with North Korea’s Tumangang line.

Previously this route was not available for foreign tourists and YPT have pioneered the only Moscow to Pyongyang tour covering over 10,267km within 8 days of travel in Russia and 26-32 hours in North Korea.

The Russian operated train is reliable, however the North Korean train is famously known for being delayed which adds to more of the experience of seeing rural sights in North Korea not possible any other way.

Mongolia

The international train between Beijing and Ulaanbaatar depart every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The train departs Beijing Railway Station at 7:27am, the same station where the train between Beijing and Pyongyang arrives and departs. The Beijing train arrives into Ulaanbaatar at 2:35pm the following day.

Trains from Ulaanbaatar depart at 7:30 and arrive into Beijing Railway Station at 2:35pm the following day. The train journey is 27 hours in total and sleeper beds are provided. It is possible to synch your visit to Pyongyang via the Trans-Mongolian.

Arriving at Pyongyang Railway Station

Whilst on a North Korean group tour with YPT, you will have our YPT guide assist you on the train from both Beijing or Dandong to help put your mind at ease and enjoy the scenery and the local food on the dining cart.

If travelling on an independent tour to North Korea, our guide will discuss your tour briefing before you board your train and explain each of the steps to you for a full understanding and help answer any questions you may have. The process is very simple and the train conductors are helpful to foreign guests. Boarding the international train will require you to show your passport and train ticket.

Once arriving at Pyongyang Railway Station, simply disembark the train and wait on the platform. Your local Korean tour guides will meet you and introduce themselves before escorting you to your transport arranged for you in the car park of the station.

Photos of the train journey and of the railway station are permitted and you may ask your guides to take a photo or video of you at the station.

If you have had your hotel arranged at the Koryo Hotel, Haebangsan Hotel or Pyongyang Hotel we recommend you asking permission from your local guides to walk together to your hotel to stretch your legs after your train journey. Your driver may take your luggage for you. This is a great way to be introduced to Pyongyang city.

Departing Pyongyang Railway Station

You will be dropped off at the railway station approximately an hour before your train departs. You may use this time to explore the waiting room located in the station. There is a unique painting of Kim Il Sung inspecting the construction of the station during the 1950s. There are also shops inside that offer snacks, water and alcohol for purchase.

On the platform there are railway staff with pushing carts that sell North Korean meals and rice snacks that you may eat on the train if you prefer not to dine on the dining cart.

If you are seeing off friends or fellow tourists and you are not departing yourself, a platform ticket is required and available to purchase. It is 10 DPRK won for locals or 3RMB for foreigners.

Experience the Pyongyang Station for yourself with us at YPT on any of our tours to North Korea

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