Unnyul Line

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Ŭnnyul Line
Native name 은률선(殷栗線)
Type Heavy rail, Passenger/Freight
Regional rail
Status Operational
Locale North Hwanghae
South Hwanghae
Termini Ŭnp'a
Stations 18
Opened Stages from 1920-1971
Closed 1971 (Sariwŏn - Chaeryŏng)
Owner West Chosen Development Railway (1920–1923)
Chosen Railway (1923–1944)
Chosen Government Railway (1944–1945)
Korean State Railway (since 1945)
Line length 117.8 km (73.2 mi)
Number of tracks Single track
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Old gauge 762 mm (2 ft 6 in)
Minimum radius 300 m (980 ft)
Maximum incline 15‰
Route map

DPRK-Ullyul Line.png

0.0 Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn
1.5 West Sariwŏn
3.6 Migok
8.1 Sŏjong
0.0 Ŭnp'a
Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line
11.9 Samgang
2.4 Kŭmsan
16.0 Kŭmsan
7.9 Chaeryŏng
11.4 Paeksŏk
15.4 Changch'on
18.8 Sinch'ŏn Onch'ŏn
21.5 Sinch'ŏn
27.7 Hwanghae Ryongmun
32.6 Munhwa
Samch'ŏn Catfish Breeding Plant
38.1 Samch'ŏn
41.6 Wŏlbong
44.8 Yach'ŏn
50.5 Sugyo
(Kwail Orchard loading spur)
117.8 Ch'ŏlgwang
(iron ore mine)
Unnyul Line
Revised Romanization Eunyul-seon
McCune–Reischauer Ŭnnyul-sŏn

The Ŭnnyul Line is a non-electrified standard-gauge secondary line of the Korean State Railway in the North and South Hwanghae provinces of North Korea, running from Ŭnp'a to Ch'ŏlgwang.[1] It is an important line in economic terms, connecting the agricultural and ore-producing areas of Kwail and Ŭnnyul counties with the rest of the DPRK.[2]

The line connects to the Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line at Ŭnp'a, to the Changyŏn Line at Sugyo, and to the Sŏhae Kammun Line at Ch'ŏlgwang, and formerly connected to the narrow gauge Ryongjŏng Line at Ch'ŏlgwang.[1] The ruling grade is 15‰, the minimum curve radius is 300 m; there are 67 bridges with a total length of 2,515 m (8,251 ft), but only two tunnels with a total length of 200 m (660 ft).[2]


The West Chosen Development Railway (西鮮殖産鉄道, Seisen Shokusan Tetsudō; 서선식산철도 Sŏsŏn Siksan Ch'ŏldo) was formed in 1920 to take over the 762 mm (30.0 in) narrow gauge Sanghae—Hwasan—Naet'o line built by the Mitsubishi Ironworks as a company-use railway,[3][4] and then built a new narrow gauge line from Sariwŏn to Chaeryŏng via Sanghae. This new line was opened on 21 December 1920,[5] and on 16 November of the following year it was extended from Chaeryŏng to Sinch'ŏn.[6]

On 1 April 1923, the West Chosen Development Railway and five other railway companies merged to create the Chosen Railway (abbreviated Chōtetsu),[7] which took over all lines and operations of its predecessors. Chōtetsu grouped the Sariwŏn—Sanghae—Sinch'ŏn and Sanghae—Hwasan—Naet'o lines inherited from the West Chosen Development Railway together, calling them the Hwanghae Line, and subsequently expanded the Hwanghae Line network significantly. These expansions included the extension of the Sariwŏn—Sinch'ŏn line, opening a section from Sinch'ŏn to Sugyo on 1 November 1929, followed by a section from Sugyo to Changyŏn on 21 January 1937.[8]

Chōtetsu sold the Hwanghae Line network to the state-owned Chosen Government Railway (abbreviated Sentetsu) on 1 April 1944, which absorbed the Hwanghae Line network and split it up, calling the Sariwŏn—Sinch'ŏn—Changyŏn line the Changyŏn Line.[9] Although Sentetsu did make significant expansions to other parts of the former Hwanghae Line network, this line remained unchanged for the duration of Japanese rule in Korea.

After the end of Japanese rule and the subsequent partition of Korea, Sentetsu's Changyŏn Line was located in the northern half, becoming part of the Korean State Railway. After the end of the Korean War the Railway Ministry of the DPRK began to expand and improve its network, including in South Hwanghae, leading to the opening of a line from Sugyo to Ch'ŏlgwang in 1963.[2] With the opening of the new line, the Sariwŏn—Sugyo—Ch'ŏlgwang line was named Ŭnnyul Line, leaving the Changyŏn Line as just the short branch from Sugyo to Changyŏn. In 1971, a new standard gauge line was opened from Ŭnp'a on the former Sahae Line to Chaeryŏng, and at the same time, the Chaeryŏng—Sinch'ŏn—Sugyo section was converted to standard gauge.[2] The opening of the new standard gauge line from Ŭnp'a to Chaeryŏng led to the closure of the narrow gauge Sariwŏn—Chaeryŏng line.[10] The regauging of the rest of the line from Sugyo to Ch'ŏlgwang was completed in 1973.[2]

Date Section Length Original Builder
21 December 1920 Sariwŏn (Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn)–Chaeryŏng 21.5 km (13.4 mi) West Chosen Development Railway
16 November 1921 Chaeryŏng–Sinch'ŏn 13.6 km (8.5 mi) West Chosen Development Railway
1 November 1929 Sinch'ŏn–Sugyo 29.0 km (18.0 mi) Chosen Railway
21 January 1937 Sugyo–Changyŏn 17.7 km (11.0 mi) Chosen Railway
1963 Sugyo–Ch'ŏlgwang (762 mm) 53.7 km (33.4 mi) Korean State Railway
1971 Ŭnp'a–Chaeryŏng
(standard gauge)
appx 21.0 km (13.0 mi) Korean State Railway
1971 Chaeryŏng–Sugyo
(standard gauge)
42.6 km (26.5 mi) Korean State Railway
1973 Sugyo–Ch'ŏlgwang
(standard gauge)
appx 53.5 km (33.2 mi) Korean State Railway


In terms of traffic quantity, freight on the Ŭnp'a–Sugyo section is roughly the same in both directions, but the bulk of freight on the Sugyo–Ch'ŏlgwang section is iron ore eastbound from the Ch'ŏlgwang area destined for the Hwanghae Iron & Steel Complex on the Songrim Line. Fruit from Kwail and Hwanghae Ryongmun is also a significant source of freight originating on the line. The primary commodities arriving onto the line from elsewhere include anthracite, fertiliser, wood and cement.[2]

The following passenger trains are known to operate on this line:[1]

  • Semi-express trains 119-122/120-121, operating between Sinch'ŏn and Ch'ŏngjin Ch'ŏngnyŏn, run on this line between Sinch'ŏn and Ŭnp'a;
  • Semi-express trains 138-139/140-141, operating between Manp'o Ch'ŏngnyŏn and Changyŏn, run on this line between Ŭnp'a and Sugyo;
  • Regional trains 219/220, operating between Taedonggang and Ch'ŏlgwang, run on the entirety of this line between Ŭnp'a and Ch'ŏlgwang;
  • Regional trains 244-245/246-247, operating between Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn and Ch'ŏlgwang, run on the entirety of this line between Ŭnp'a and Ch'ŏlgwang.


Main Line

A yellow background in the "Distance" box indicates that section of the line is not electrified; a pink background indicates that section is 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge; an orange background indicates that section is non-electrified narrow gauge.

(Total; km)
(S2S; km)
Station Name
Station Name
(Chosŏn'gŭl (Hanja))
Former Name
Former Name
(Chosŏn'gŭl (Hanja))
0.0 0.0 Ŭnp'a 은파 (銀波) Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line
Yangdong 양동 (養洞)
2.4 2.4 Kŭmsan 금산 (金山)
7.9 5.5 Chaeryŏng 재령 (載寧)
11.4 3.5 Paeksŏk 백석 (白石)
15.4 4.0 Changch'on 창촌 (倉村)
18.8 3.4 Sinch'ŏn Onch'ŏn 신천 온천 (信川温泉)
21.5 2.7 Sinch'ŏn 신천 (信川)
27.7 6.2 Hwanghae Ryongmun 황해 룡문 (黄海龍門) Yongmun 용문 (黄海)
32.6 4.9 Munhwa 문화 (文化)
38.1 5.5 Samch'ŏn 삼천 (三泉) Samch'ŏn Onch'ŏn 삼천온천 (三泉温泉)
41.6 3.5 Wŏlbong 월봉 (月峰) Kunghŭng 궁흥 (弓興)
44.8 3.2 Ya'chon 야촌 (野村)
50.5 5.7 Sugyo 수교 (水橋) Changyŏn Line
Kut'an 구탄 (-)
Songhwa 송화 (松禾)
Sansu 산수 (山水)
Kwail 과일 (-)
Sindae 신대 (新大)
Ŭnnyul 은률 (殷栗)
Kŭmsanp'o 금산포 (金山浦)
117.8 Ch'ŏlgwang 철광 (鉄鉱) Ryongjŏng Line, Sŏhaekammun Line


  1. ^ a b c Kokubu, Hayato, 将軍様の鉄道 (Shōgun-sama no Tetsudō), p. 85, 2007, Tokyo, ISBN 978-4-10-303731-6
  2. ^ a b c d e f North Korea Geographic Information: Transportation Geography - Ŭnnyul Line (in Korean)
  3. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Taishō Nr. 2054, 16 June 1919
  4. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Taishō Nr. 2317, 4 May 1920
  5. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Taishō Nr. 2514, 27 December 1920
  6. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Taishō Nr. 2514, 19 November 1921
  7. ^ Establishment of the Chosen Railway, Dong-A Ilbo, 3 September 1923 (in Korean)
  8. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Showa Nr. 3009, 28 January 1937
  9. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 5143, 29 March 1944
  10. ^ 100 Years of Rail Travel - Sariwŏn
  • Japanese Government Railways (1937), 鉄道停車場一覧. 昭和12年10月1日現在(The List of the Stations as of 1 October 1937), Kawaguchi Printing Company, Tokyo, p508

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