Subordinate to North Korea’s Ministry of Railways are five major industrial facilities involved in the production and depot-level repair of rail cars and locomotives.
Subordinate to North Korea’s Ministry of Railways are five major industrial facilities involved in the production and depot-level repair of rail cars and locomotives. These facilities are the 6 July Railway Factory, Chongjin Railway Factory, Kim Chong-tae Electric Locomotive Works, Pyongyang Rolling Stock Repair Plant, and Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex. Reflecting a general geographic division of the nation into east and west coasts caused by north-south mountain ranges, two of these—the Kim Chong-tae Electric Locomotive Works and Pyongyang Rolling Stock Repair Plant—are located on the west coast in Pyongyang, and three are located on the east coast—6 July Railway Factory, Chongjin Railway Factory, and Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex.
The Ministry of Railways also exercises control over the rail network including research and development, education and training, security, railroad operations, acquisition, and production. The Korean State Railway conducts rail operations through at least six regional bureaus—Chongjin, Hamhung, Kaechon, Pyongyang, Naseon, and Sariwon. Subordinate to these regional rail bureaus are more than 20 secondary repair shops and 50 engine houses located along the rail network throughout the nation that undertake minor repairs and routine maintenance. The Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex is believed to be directly subordinate to the Ministry of Railways; however, its location in Wonsan means that it works closely with the Wonsan Railway Bureau.
Previous names for the Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex have included the KaIma Railroad Plant, Wonsan Railroad Factory, and 4 June Rolling Stock Works (sometimes referred to in English as the 4 June Rolling-Stock Works, June 4 General Rolling-Stock Works, or Wŏnsan Railroad Car Manufacturing and Rolling Stock Repair Plant). Today the complex is sometimes referred to in English as the Wonsan Railroad Car Manufacturing and Rolling Stock Repair Plant or Wo'san Railway Rolling Stock Complex.
Source(s): Picture - Manufacturing operations for ore cars inside an assembly hall at the Wonsan Railway Rolling Stock Complex. A two-axle rail truck is seen in the foreground. (Rodong Sinmun, March 15, 2017), 11. Part 1 Chongjin report
, 12. For example, “Overflowing with conviction to powerfully wage an all-out assault and brilliantly conclude this year's battle,” Rodong Sinmun, October 15, 2012, 4; “Pyongyang Rolling Stock Repair Plant,” KCBS, November 27, 2007; Hwang Myo'ng-hu'i, “Level Arm Tower Crane Produced at the Pyongyang Elevator Factory,” Rodong Sinmun, October 6, 2005, 5; Yi Kyong-hwa, “Blow the Whistle of Innovation High for a Turnaround in the Railway Transport!,” Rodong Sinmun, May 11, 1999, 3; and “Day of Railway Workers,” KCNA, May 11, 1998. There are numerous English-language variations for the names for these five facilities. Among the more common are Kim Chong-T'ae Electric Locomotive General Enterprise, Kim Chong-t'ae General Electric Locomotive Works, Kim Jong Thae General Electric Locomotive Works, June 4 General Rolling-Stock Works, 6 July General Railway Factory, July 6 General Railway Factory, 7.6 Vehicle Parts Factory, and the Pyongyang Rolling Stock Repair Works., 13. The Naseon Railway Bureau is sometimes identified by its older name of Najin Railway Bureau. The KPA and Guard Command exercise some level of control over rail operations that involve the rail movements of Kim Jong-un or military cargos. Author interview data; Oh Jae-hwan, “Security Agencies of North Korea under the Kim Jong Un Regime,” Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, Vol. 26, No. 1, March 2014, 117–131., “Trip Report North Korea October 2004,” accessed January 4, 2009
, Kim Chong-min. “The Real State of North Korea's Military Roads and Transportation Equipment,” Pukhan, November 1997, 121–133.