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Railway Bicycles At Goksung Station

Posted March. 25, 2004 22:45,   


It is a small train station where the movie “Taegukgi” was filmed. Located where the seventeenth national road and Jeolla railway run together with the Sumjin River, it has been selected as the point with the most scenic view of the Jeolla railway. Though it would take only ten minutes to reach at normal train speeds, the train serving the station runs at approximately ten kilometers per a hour and takes one hour to get there, in order to allow the passengers to enjoy the view of the river. As the train pulls into the first train station, the old Goksung Station, people can enjoy the traditions of the past. With old villages and without any present-time facilities, this small station gives a certain feeling of yearning.

This place was utilized as the stage for filming the popular movie “Taegukgi”. The family of Jintae, performed by Jang Dong-kun, and Youngsin, by Lee Eun-ju, came to seek refuge due to the sudden outbreak of Korean War. But at the Daegu Station, where they try to get aboard on the refugee’s train, Jintae and his younger brother Jinseok were forced into enlisting, facing separation without any promises from their other family members.

Though this place was described as a quagmire, with separation, sorrow, and indignation existing simultaneously in the movie, the reality is far different from the scenes in the movie. There is no peaceful ambience at this train station, which most rural stations give off. When one enters inside the station through the ticket gate, a carving that describes the history of the trains on the line, from the steam train to the rapid-speed electronic trains of today, comes into sight. Next to the carving, a small place for relaxation with a lookout shed-type pavilion. The more one looks at it, the sweeter it becomes.

--Slow mini train

A mini train pulls out of the station in slow motion. When it goes around the corners of a mountain next to the Sumjin River, a peaceful, bucolic view spreads out in one’s sight like rolling paper. Murmuring brooks, spacious crop fields, and farmers concentrating on their work catch one’s consciousness. Even the spring breeze blowing through the curtain of the window gives a sense of warmth.

At Hogok-ri, three kilometers south from Goksung Station, a solitary Hogok ferry welcomes the travelers, and after some distance, with its sight-catching red pier and flexible matting, the Duga suspension bridge appears in one’s sight. In the nighttime, the rainbow lights under the pier light up, making fantastic ambience for couples.

Let’s walk south a little bit when we arrive at Gajung Station. A 30,000 pyoung large river beach forms a unique atmosphere. Aprok Town’s Aprok resort is one of the representative pleasure grounds of the Sumjin River that allows people to enjoy the peaceful ambience of the river.

-- A Rattling and Clicking Railway Bicycle

Separated from the mini train, the old Goksung Station offers an opportunity to ride a bicycle on the train railway. As the wheels of the bicycle directly match with the tracks, people who cannot ride a bicycle can enjoy the pleasure of bicycle riding by simply stepping on the pedals. Except the rails which are used by a mini train, people can utilize 300 meters of railway track around the train station.

Because double or quadruple bicycles for family use are also available, people can ride side by side and make good conversation while riding. At first, riders will find it takes much strength to get started, but once they get going, acceleration power boosts the railway bicycles to move by themselves. Like the sound of a train running on the railway, people feel like becoming an engineer of a train.

People feel the lack of the scenic view of the Sumjin River while riding the railway bicycles, however, because the railway for the bicycle is limited to the area around the Goksung Station due to safety reasons.

The mini trains are put into operation four times a day on holidays. But if group travelers request it, it can serve people’s demands at anytime. In order to publicize the province’s tourism culture, the mini train and railway bicycle will be open to the public free of charge until this October.