Hwanghae Chongnyon Line

The Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line is an electrified standard-gauge secondary line of the Korean State Railway in the North and South Hwanghae provinces of North Korea, running from Sariwŏn to Haeju.[1] It connects to the P'yŏngbu Line at Sariwŏn, to the Ŭnnyul Line at Ŭnp'a, to the Paech'ŏn Line at Changbang, and to the Ongjin Line at Haeju.[1] It plays an important role in the transportation of freight and passengers in North and South Hwanghae provinces, serving important mining and industrial areas, as well as one of the DPRK's most important ports for foreign trade.[2]

Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line
Native name황해청년선(黄海青年線)
OwnerChosen Railway (1919–1944)
Chosen Government Railway (1944–1945)
Korean State Railway (since 1945)
LocaleNorth Hwanghae
South Hwanghae
TerminiSariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn
Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn
TypeHeavy rail, Passenger/Freight
Regional rail
OpenedStages between 1919−1944
Line length91.4 km (56.8 mi)
Number of tracksSingle track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Old gauge762 mm (2 ft 6 in)
(Hasŏng - Haeju)
Electrification3000 V DC Catenary
Route map

DPRK-Hwanghae Chongnyon Line.png

Sariwŏn Knitwear Factory
0.0 Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn
4.6 East Sariwŏn
5.9 Songsan
West Pongsan
10.0 Pongsan
(bridge appx 220 metres (720 ft))
former ore mine
former ore mine
13.6 Ŭnp'a
(bridge appx 145 metres (476 ft))
(bridge appx 125 metres (410 ft))
(bridge appx 120 metres (390 ft))
21.1 Mukch'ŏn
0.0 Samgang
(tunnel appx 240 metres (790 ft))
former Sahae Line
6.0 Kwangt'an
former mine
(bridge appx 325 metres (1,066 ft))
10.8 Sŏkt'an
former mine
27.3 Ŏsa
old Hwanghae Line alignment
(bridge appx 135 metres (443 ft))
former Naet'o Line/Ŭnp'a Lake
2.1 Naet'o
former mine
16.2 Changsusan
(bridge appx 60 metres (200 ft))
(bridge appx 340 metres (1,120 ft))
(bridge appx 155 metres (509 ft))
36.1 Unyang
20.9 Miryŏk
(bridge appx 160 metres (520 ft))
41.7 Hasŏng
52.9 Kuhasŏng
Sinwŏn Cement Factory
(bridge appx 30 metres (98 ft))
former Sahae Line
54.1 Yŏmt'an (former)
55.6 Yŏmt'an
(bridge appx 80 metres (260 ft))
(bridge appx 60 metres (200 ft))
65.2 Sinjumak
62.4 Sinjumak (former)
(bridge appx 90 metres (300 ft))
82.5 Changbang
East Haeju
91.4 Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn
77.9 Haeju
Hwanghae Chongnyon Line
Revised RomanizationHwanghae Cheongnyeon-seon
McCune–ReischauerHwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn-sŏn


On 20 May 1919, the Mitsubishi Ironworks opened the Sanghae (later called Samgang)—Sŏktan—Hwasan—Naet'o railway line as a 762 mm (30.0 in) narrow-gauge line for use as a private industrial railway,[3] and on 21 April of the following year it was taken over by the West Chosen Development Railway.[4] The West Chosen Development Railway merged with five other railway companies on 1 April 1923 to form the Chosen Railway (abbreviated Chōtetsu),[5] which took over all lines and operations of its predecessors. Chōtetsu then grouped the Sanghae—Naet'o line together with the Sariwŏn—Sanghae—Sinch'ŏn it had inherited from the West Chosen Development Railway, collectively calling them the Hwanghae Line.

Chōtetsu subsequently expanded the Hwanghae Line network significantly, with the first expansion being the 8.0 km (5.0 mi) addition to extend the line from Sŏktan to Miryŏk, opening the new track on 1 September 1924.[6] A year to the day later Chōtetsu opened the 15.2 km (9.4 mi) Miryŏk—Sinwŏn—Hasŏng line, followed on 12 November 1929 by the Sinwŏn—Hakhyŏn section (22.0 km (13.7 mi), and on 11 December 1930 by the Hakhyŏn—East Haeju section (6.4 km (4.0 mi)).[7]

Less than a year later, Chōtetsu extended the line again, this time with a 7.5 km (4.7 mi) segment from East Haeju to Haeju Port station in Ryongdangp'o.[8] This brought the line to its maximum extent, but Chōtetsu did add two new stations, opening Tongp'o Station, 6.1 km (3.8 mi) south of East Haeju, on 11 May 1934[9] (now called Wangsin), and Sindŏk Station between Sinwŏn and Hasŏng, 3.5 km (2.2 mi) from Sinwŏn, on 11 August 1935.[10] On 10 May 1937 a branch was opened from Tongp'o to Chŏngdo;[11]

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 Samgang—Hwasan—Sinwŏn—East Haeju line the Sahae Line, the Hwasan—Naet'o line the Naet'o Line, the Sinwŏn—Hasŏng line the Hasŏng Line, and the East Haeju—Haeju Port/Chŏngdo line the Chŏngdo Line.[12] Deciding that traffic levels merited the construction of a standard gauge line, Sentetsu built a new, 41.7 km (25.9 mi) line from Sariwŏn to Hasŏng, calling it the Hwanghae Main Line (黄海本線, 황해본선). The opening of a new station in Hasŏng led to the existing station on the narrow-gauge line from Sinwŏn to be renamed "Kuhasŏng Station" ("Old Hasŏng Station").[13]

After the end of Japanese rule and the subsequent partition of Korea, Sentetsu's Sahae and Hwanghae Main Lines were located in the northern half, becoming part of the Korean State Railway.[1] After the Korean War, the Railway Ministry of the DPRK put great effort into rebuilding and expanding the country's rail network; part of the expansion plan was the conversion of the former Hwanghae Lines to standard gauge. Refurbishment of the Sariwŏn—Hasŏng Hwanghae Main Line was completed in 1956; Kim Il-sung visited the reconstruction works in June of that year.[1] Conversion of the Hasŏng—Haeju—Haeju Port section to standard gauge took place in 1958. Work was carried out by youth "volunteer" teams, who finished the project on 12 August 1958 – 75 days after work began.[1][2] In honour of the efforts of the youth volunteer teams, the Sariwŏn—Haeju line was given its current name, Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line – Hwanghae Youth Line.[1] The Haeju—Haeju Port section and the former Chŏngdo Line were made part of the Ongjin Line at that time.

The construction of dams led to the flooding of parts of the narrow-gauge Sahae Line: the Sŏktan—Hwasan—Changsusan section and most of the Hwasan—Naet'o branch were flooded by the construction of Changsu Reservoir; part of the Sinwŏn—Kuhasŏng line, between Sinwŏn and Sindŏk, and part of the mainline between Sinwŏn and Sinjumak, around and including the station of Yŏmt'an, by Annyŏng Lake.[14] As a result, the new standard gauge line opened in 1958 to replace these sections is longer than the original alignment. In 1971, a new standard gauge line from Ŭnp'a to Chaeryŏng was opened, becoming part of the Ŭnnyul Line;[15] this led to the closure of the remaining narrow gauge sections of the Sahae Line.

Electrification of the Hwanghae Ch'ŏngnyŏn Line was completed in April 1982.[2]

Date Section Length Original Builder
20 May 1919 Sanghae (Samgang)–Naet'o 15.0 km (9.3 mi) Mitsubishi Ironworks
1 September 1924 Hwasan–Miryŏk 8.0 km (5.0 mi) Chosen Railway
1 September 1925 Miryŏk–Hwasŏng 15.2 km (9.4 mi) Chosen Railway
12 November 1929 Sinwŏn–Hakhyŏn 22.6 km (14.0 mi) Chosen Railway
11 December 1930 Hakhyŏn–East Haeju 6.4 km (4.0 mi) Chosen Railway
12 November 1931 East Haeju–Haeju Port 7.5 km (4.7 mi) Chosen Railway
1 October 1944 Sariwŏn–Hasŏng
(standard gauge)
41.7 km (25.9 mi) Chosen Government Railway
12 August 1958 Hasŏng–Haeju Port
(standard gauge)
36.8 km (22.9 mi) Korean State Railway


Freight traffic is made up primarily of fuel and raw materials needed in Haeju and other parts of South Hwanghae Province, along with freight for export via Haeju Port. The main bulk commodities shipped in the southbound direction are anthracite, limestone and cement. Anthracite is an important commodity on the line due to the lack of coal resources in South Hwanghae Province. Limestone is also an important commodity, shipped from the quarries at Sinwŏn to the Haeju Cement Factory. Cement is a major southbound commodity on the line due to the exports of cement produced at the 2.8 Cement Complex on the Pongsan Line via Haeju Port. Other freight in the southbound direction include fertiliser, agricultural equipment and daily necessities. Grains and salt make up a large portion of northbound traffic. Between Haeju and Changbang 16% of freight is anthracite, destined for points on the Paech'ŏn Line for use as fuel. Between Ŭnp'a and Sariwŏn, 31% of northbound freight is iron ore from the Ŭnnyul Line.[2]

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

  • Express trains 15-16/17-18, operating between Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn and Manp'o Ch'ŏngnyŏn, run on this line between Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn and Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn;
  • Semi-express trains 104-107/108-111, operating between Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn and Hyesan Ch'ŏngnyŏn, run on this line between Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn and Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn;
  • Semi-express trains 119-122/120-121, operating between Sinch'ŏn and Ch'ŏngjin Ch'ŏngnyŏn, run on this line between Ŭnp'a and Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn.

There are also commuter trains on the line on the West Haeju (on the Ongjin Line)—Haeju—ChangbangHakhyŏn and the Haeju—Sinwŏn sections of the line.[2]


A yellow background in the "Distance" box indicates that section of the line is non-electrified standard gauge, a white background indicates electrified standard gauge, and an orange background indicates non-electrified narrow gauge.

Prior to 1945, the Sariwŏn – Hasŏng section (standard gauge) was called the Hwanghae Main Line; the narrow gauge section from Sinwŏn to Haeju was part of the Sahae Line from Sariwŏn via Samgang.

Distance (km)
Post-1958 Pre-1958 Station Name Former Name
Total S2S Total S2S Transcribed Chosŏn'gŭl (Hanja) Transcribed Chosŏn'gŭl (Hanja) Connections
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 Sariwŏn Ch'ŏngnyŏn 사리원청년
Sariwŏn 사리원 (沙里院) P'yŏngbu Line
(Changyŏn Line)
5.9 5.9 5.9 5.9 Songsan 송산 (松山)
13.6 7.7 13.6 7.7 Ŭnp'a 은파 (銀波) Ŭnnyul Line
21.1 7.5 21.1 7.5 Mukch'ŏn 묵천 (墨川)
27.3 6.2 27.3 6.2 Ŏsa 어사 (御史)
36.1 8.8 36.1 8.8 Unyang 운양 (雲陽) Hasŏng 하성 (下聖)
41.7 5.6 41.7 5.6 Hasŏng 하성 (下聖)
43.7 2.0 -5.2 0.0 Sinwŏn 신원 (新院) Sindŏk 신덕 (新德)
49.3 5.6 47.2 0.0 Ch'ilmansan 칠만산 (七万山) Sinwŏn 신원 (新院) Distance is from Samgang
on the Sahae Line.
55.6 6.3 54.1 6.9 Yŏmt'an 염탄 (塩灘)
65.2 9.6 62.4 8.3 Sinjumak 신주막 (新酒幕)
71.9 6.7 69.2 6.8 Hakhyŏn 학현 (鶴峴)
82.5 9.6 -- -- Changbang 장방 (長芳) Paech'ŏn Line
90.3 7.8 75.6 6.4 East Haeju (Tonghaeju) 동해주 (東海州) Paech'ŏn Line, Ongjin Line
91.4 1.1 -- -- Haeju Ch'ŏngnyŏn 해주청년 (海州青年)
- - 77.9 2.3 closed in 1958 Haeju 해주 (海州) (Ongjin Line)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kokubu, Hayato, 将軍様の鉄道 (Shōgun-sama no Tetsudō), ISBN 978-4-10-303731-6
  2. ^ a b c d e North Korea Geographic Information: Transportation Geography - Hwanghae Chongnyon 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. ^ Establishment of the Chosen Railway, Dong-A Ilbo, 3 September 1923 (in Korean)
  6. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Taishō Nr. 3620, 5 September 1924
  7. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 1187, 16 December 1930
  8. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 1492, 26 December 1931
  9. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 2195, 8 May 1934
  10. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 2581, 19 August 1935
  11. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 3096, 14 May 1937
  12. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 5143, 29 March 1944
  13. ^ 朝鮮總督府官報 (The Public Journal of the Governor-General of Korea), Shōwa Nr. 5286, 15 September 1944
  14. ^ 100 Years of Rail Travel - Sariwŏn (in Japanese)
  15. ^ North Korea Geographic Information: Transportation Geography - Ŭnnyul Line (in Korean)