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Russia to test railway to N. Korea next month: report

All Headlines 18:52 September 14, 2011

SEOUL, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Russia plans to test a railway running across its border with North Korea next month, three years after it started renovating the tracks, a British news report said this week.

Russian Railways, the state-controlled rail monopoly, said it plans to run a "demonstration" train between Khasan, the Russian town bordering North Korea, and the North's northeastern port city of Rajin, according to rail.co, a Britain-based rail news website.

Russia has been rebuilding the railway line since 2008 in a bid to facilitate shipments of goods to and from South Korea through the port in Rajin. The project also aims to renovate the cargo terminal at Rajin and eventually link the Russia-North Korea railway line with the Trans-Siberian Railway, the site said in its report dated Tuesday.

The Russian rail operator has so far installed 36 track switches and repaired 14.6 kilometers of secondary tracks and 6 km of the main line, the report said. By the end of this year, Russian Railways plans to install 56 track switches and lay more than 64 km on the main and secondary rail routes, it added.

The report also quoted Vladimir Yakunin, president of Russian Railways, as saying that his company will next consider transporting coal on the tracks.

The Khasan train station was the first stop during North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's rare visit to Russia last month. The 69-year-old leader is known to shun air travel for security reasons and rides in a special armored train during his overseas trips.

hague@yna.co.kr
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