Narrow gauge in Korea: the Inchon – Suwon – Yeoju line

While reading an excellent book about the situation in Korea between 1945 and 1950 (“The War for Korea, 1945-1950: A House Burning” by Allan Millett”) I noticed on one of the maps that there were at that time in Korea several narrow gauge railway lines. On the Ongjin peninsula, to the west of Haeju, there used to be several narrow gauge lines, built in the Japanese colonial period. With the current economical situation in North Korea it is unlikely that trains are still running on these lines, but they are certainly not narrow gauge anymore, having been regauged a long time ago. According to the book “Communist logistics in the Korean War” by Charles Shrader in 1950 there were 523 miles of narrow gauge in the whole of Korea. Luckily this book can be found at Google books, see here for the relevant pages.

Engine 7 of the Suwon to Inchon narrow gauge railway.
Engine 7 of the Suwon to Inchon narrow gauge railway, now located next to the Sorae (소래) museum, in 2013

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Danish railways system map of 1968

Sometimes something just needs to be shown once found. When I recently went through all the available maps at the NVBS cartography library I found this jewel of a map. It shows the full railway system of Denmark in May 1968.

The nice thing about such a map is that it shows a lot of railways which have disappeared, although of course many more railways already disappeared before 1968 and so can’t be found on this map. However, lines like the line from Thisted to Norresundy can be found on this map. The only way you can find this line on a modern map would be to look for the telltale line of a dyke going seemingly without reason running through the landscape.

Another line still on this map which can no longer be found is the railway on Bornholm, shown in the right-hand lower corner of the map. At the time of printing the days of the line were already numbered, and this is the last remnant of the network. But in 1968 it was still possible to take the line from Ronne to Nekso.

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