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Jungsun Gujulri

Posted April. 07, 2004 22:41,   


The world is always changing, but there is something people don’t want to change. The Mini train in Jungsun railway section is such a train.

The Mini train connects Jeungsan Station and Gujulri Station, which have 45.9 kilometers distance between them, with a single car for only three times a day. Though it was a popular railway section when people poured into Gujulri for grasping job openings in the mines, it has become a cause of worry because almost every mine has been closed down.

But after the country suffered from the financial crisis back in 1998, people have congregated again to see the beauty of nature and have rediscovered the pleasures of riding this mini train, which has increased its amount of passengers. It is a pleasure to ride one of the precious trains, which crosses Ahuraji River where the Songchun brook and the Goljichun brook meet with just one car span.

In November, 2000, when a breeze of autumn blew chilly, the last Bidulki Train has been vanished to the netherworld of history. An old train car where the two rows of seats are placed facing each other was poor enough to set up a stove in wintertime.

A grandmother who packed her harvests earnestly in a small wrapping cloth to sell at Jungsun Market, and the children who rode the train after their classes have vanished too, along with the old train.

I have realized the hard-heartedness of the time, which will never come again after the parting. As the last train from Gujulri Station to Jeungsan Station departed, I repeated to myself, “This train, this scene, will never be seen again.”

After three years, the wave of rapid speed trains has also influenced the Tongil Train, which has assumed the role of the resigned Bidulki Train. Together with the debut of the rapid speed train, the resignation of the Tongil Train has been simultaneously shown to the people. Considering current people’s concerns over “slow food” and “slow life,” the means of transportation seems to ignore the philosophy of slowness. It treats only the quick movers with great care and kicks out the slow movers.

But no worries! This Tongil Train in the Jungsun railway section will not be influenced by the debut of the rapid speed train. Though its name has been changed from “Tongil Train” to the “Commuter’s Train,” the train fares have been increased from 1,100 won to 1,200 won, and thought the daybreak train has been canceled, the daytime train is still in good health, which is a bit of good fortune for us.

We don’t know when the mini train will stop its service crossing the Ahuraji River, which connects the Songchun Brook that runs down from Yongpyong Ski Resort, and the Goljichun Brook that trickles down from the origins of Han River to form the Joyang River. When “Rail-bike” service is authorized, which is designed to allow the passengers to ride a bicycle on the railway to make the trip to and from Gujulri Station and Ahuraji Station, the mini train will be reduced to operating only between Jeungsan Station and Ahuraji Station. At the earliest, this authorization will be passed this autumn.

People who have not ridden the mini train or the train which crosses the Ahuraji River with only one car should make haste to enjoy the pleasure of riding this mini train in order not to have any regrets after its disappearance. It has been reorganized to a “Café Train” to give a better view of nature. Remember the market day of Jungsun Market, whi

ch runs on the day that ends with the number two and seven, to enjoy the pleasure of traditional Korean markets and riding a mini train.

Seung-Ha Cho summer@donga.com