RUSSIA: RZD President Vladimir Yakunin and North Korean Minister of Railways Jon Kil-su have signed a protocol on reconstruction of the Khasan – Rajin line, following talks in Moscow. They reported that the rebuilding work was ‘in its final stages’.

The protocol outlines plans to create a single control centre for the entire North Korean rail network. This will be created with participation from the RasonKonTrans joint venture of Russian Railways Trading Company and the port of Rajin, as well as the North Korean Ministry of Railways. Timetables will also be jointly developed.

The rebuilding project involves laying 54 km of dual-gauge track (1 520 mm and 1 435 mm), the reconstruction of three tunnels, the repair of a bridge over the border, and the construction of a freight terminal in Rajin port with a capacity of 4 million tonnes per year.

The work sits in the context of the framework of co-operation between Russia and North Korea established in 2000. It is also part of a wider ambition to revive transit freight on the Trans-Korean main line.