Korea’s DMZ, Part 3: Dorasan Station

Our trip to Korea’s demilitarized zone took us to Imjingak Village and the Bridge of Freedom, the Third Tunnel and Dora Observatory, and finally, Dorasan Station. For me, Dorasan Station was the most poignant moment of the tour.

Dorasan Station

outside Dorasan Station

Should the two Korea’s ever reunite, Dorasan Station is the station that will connect them. As it is now, one train a day passes through the station—shuttling materials and products back and forth between the two Korea’s as part of a new economic experiment where products are made using South Korean materials and North Korean labor.

sign in Dorasan Station

inside Dorasan Station

signs in Dorasan Station

Because the train runs so infrequently, visitors are actually encouraged to “buy a ticket” (approximately 50 cents that gives you entry to the tracks), and play on the tracks. Signs at the station show “Pyongyang” (the capital of North Korea) as the destination for the train, but that too is simply symbolic—in reality, the current trains only barely enter North Korea, to the site of the economic experiment.

a ticket into Dorasan Station

Dorasan Station tracks and soldier

sign outside Dorasan Station

Dorasan Station tracks

people on tracks at Dorasan Station

empty tracks of Dorasan Station

One of the most interesting and touching things about Dorasan Station is that once it is fully functional (and the trains can safely pass through North Korea), this line will connect with the Trans Eurasian Railway Network, meaning that someday, you could in theory take a train all the way from Busan (the southernmost city in South Korea), all the way to London (via North Korea, China, Russia and then through Europe). I found this fact extremely moving–once North Korea opens up to the world, the world will be more connected.

Map of railway lines in Asia and Europe

sign about the connecting of Dorasan to Asia and Europe railways

This was our final stop on our tour of the DMZ and is the final installment of our DMZ series. What are your thoughts on Dorasan Station? Do you think it’s a place to inspire hope, or a waste of money?

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4 Responses to “Korea’s DMZ, Part 3: Dorasan Station”

  1. C Ohara October 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    The thought of connecting all of Eurasia with railroad is pretty rad, i think!
    C Ohara recently posted…AKB48′s rise to fameMy Profile

    • Andrea October 23, 2012 at 12:43 am #

      That was the most interesting part to me! I love the idea that peace between the Korea’s will unite so much more than just the peninsula. It’s very poetic!

  2. Dana Simpson April 24, 2016 at 2:41 am #

    I just visited Dorasan Station. They no longer allow people on the tracks. I found that out the hard way! Snapped a picture before getting the whistle… oops!

    • Andrea May 8, 2016 at 3:15 pm #

      Oh bummer! That was one of the best places to get a good photograph.

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