Will Wonsan tramway open in 2024?
Posted on 21st December 2023 at 13:41
Wonsan is a port city on the east coast of the Democratic Republic of North Korea. Its population is believed to be about 330 000.
In 2013, the city was designated a summer destination with resorts and entertainments. With the support of party chairman Kim Jong Un, the 4km Kalma beach area to the north has been redeveloped with hotels and restaurants, and a new airport built to fly in tourists. Work was still in progress when COVID hit in 2020, bringing progress to a halt, but work restarted in 2023.
Wonsan city is served by trolleybuses, but in 2019 work started to build an 8.5km single-track metre-gauge tramway loop serving Kalma. Infrastructure work was completed in late 2020, and single unit bogie trams were to be delivered by the Kim Jong Thae Locomotive Works. However the effective closure of the resort area during the COVID pandemic meant the tramway has never carried passengers. Work to install the overhead seems to have restarted so summer 2024 may finally see the goal of carrying passengers achieved. Photos have emerged showing finishing work taking place on an open-sided ‘tourist’ tram, whether to supplement the conventional fleet or not is unclear due to the intense secrecy that surrounds projects such as this.
The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, has a standard-gauge tramway installed with Czech assistance and opened in 1989. There is also a metre-gauge shuttle tramway serving the Kumsusan Mausoleum since 1995. The only other North Korean city with trams is in Chongjin with one 7.3km line opened in 1999 and served by rebuilt Tatra trams from Pyongyang.
A tourist tram under construction for Wonsan. (nknews.org)
Tagged as: North Korea
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