Rajin Railway Station (라진역) is a colonial-era railway station located in the town of Rajin, which, together with Sonbong, forms the combined city of the Rason.
Pictured Above: Riding the rail near Rajin Station
Being a special economic zone and located near the border with China and Russia, Rajin Station is one of two railway stations located in Rason. The other is located at the cities port and is only used as a freight station. This second freight station is commonly used by Chinese and Russian businessmen that have leased space in the Rajin Port to move goods.
Location of Rajin Train Station
Rajin is located in the far Northeast of the DPRK and shares an international border with both China and Russia. Rajin also shares an internal border with North Hamngyong Province of which it used to be apart of before its designation as a special economic zone in 1992.
The station is significant as it is the terminus for two major lines of the Korean State Railway.
The first line it is a terminus for is the Pyongra Line, which is an electrified standard-gauge trunk line running from Pyongyang all the way to Rason, where it then connects with the Hambuk line.
The second line terminating at Rajin Station is the Hambuk line, which runs from Chongjin to Rajin via the city of Hoeryong, which is along the border with China.
History of Rajin Station
Rajin station was opened in 1935 as an alternative to Unggi station (now called Sŏnbong).
This same year on 1 November 1935, the South Manchuria Railway opened the Ungra Line to connect Unggi to Rajin. An express train named “Asahi” from Xinjing, Manchukuo to Rajin, was put into service in 1936 to connect to a ferry that was providing service back to Japan.
After the end of the Korean War in 1953, as part of reconstruction efforts, the Ungra Line was combined with several others to create the Hambuk Line as it is today.
In 1959 with the construction of the Korea-Russian Friendship bridge across the Tumen River, the station’s importance was again heightened as the Soviet Union and North Korea now had a direct railway link.
In 1965 the P’yŏngra Line was extended to Rajin, meeting up with the Hambuk Line’s terminus. This turned Rajin station into one of the most essential stations on the entirety of the Korean Railway network, handling massive amounts of freight traffic to and from the Soviet Union and the former Communist countries of Eastern Europe.
Today the station remains vital as the last major stop in the DPRK before Russia, still handling much of the trade that happens between the two countries.
Visiting Rajin Train Station
On our group tours to the Rason SEZ, you will likely drive by Rajin station at some point, but we do not often visit it.
If you take an Independent Tour to Rason, it is possible to request a visit to the station. Please let us know while you are booking if you would like to visit the station.
The best way to guarantee a visit to the station, however, is to join our Moscow – Pyongyang by train tour, where the group will get off at Rajin station to be met by local guides from the Rason International Travel Agency before beginning a 2-night tour of the zone.