OWL Magazine Korea

Paju Imjingak, Steam Locomotive at Jangdan Station (Photo)

Near the entrance of the Freedom Bridge in Paju’s Imjingak, you can see the steam locomotive boiler of the Gyeongui Line’s Jangdan Station. On December 31, 1950, amidst the height of the Korean War, a train carrying military supplies and provisions from Kaesong Station departed with 25 carriages, heading towards Sinuiju Station. However, due to the tactical situation caused by the Chinese People’s Volunteer Army, the train was forced to retreat from Hanpo Station towards Seoul. Fearing that this steam locomotive would fall into the hands of the North Korean forces, the allied forces indiscriminately fired upon it around 10:00 PM at Jangdan Station, destroying it.

After its destruction, the locomotive lay neglected for nearly half a century, rusting beside the tracks about 50 meters away from Jangdan Station’s platform. On February 6, 2004, it was designated as Cultural Heritage No. 78. After undergoing restoration, including rust removal, in November 2007, it was relocated from the southern demilitarized zone and exhibited at Imjingak.