Since the creation of the DPRK, the first two North Korean leaders—Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il were known to use high-security private trains as their preferred method of domestic and international travel. Kim Il Sung's longest train journey took place in 1984 when he visited almost every socialist country in Eastern Europe. The train ride went through the Soviet Union via China, and the next stops were Poland, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania. The rest of the trip went through the Soviet Union again.
From Pyongyang there are trains to most major North Korean cities (even though it may take several days to get there) as well as there is direct international train service to China via Sinuiju and Russia via Khasan/Tumangan.
The original Pyongyang station was constructed in the 1920s. During the Korean War, the original structure was destroyed and later in 1957 rebuilt in the style of socialist architecture. The station presently has three floors above ground level as well as a basement. The ground level houses a ticket desk exclusively for government employees. At the first floor there is a waiting room, toilets, a ticket desk and access to the trains. At the second floor there are offices for the staff and at the third the office of the station master. There are five platforms, with number 1 being the most spacious.
From Pyongyang you can take Pyongyang-Beijing train operating 4 times a week (2 Chinese and 2 Korean trains operating this tour). This train is available as an exit option for most of our group tours: choose train-out option when you book the tour.
The train Pyongyang - Beijing goes via Korean border city Sinuiju. You can make a stop over for a couple of days in this city. Please refer to our Sinuiju extension for the details. In the train there is a restaurant carriage - while the train is in the DPRK it is North Korean restaurant and you can pay in US, Euro or RMB. When the train enters China the Korean restaurant is replaced with Chinese one accepting only RMB. The food in restaurant is usually good (especially in Korean version) and not expensive but the place can be crowded and you may need to wait in a chaotic queue.
In Beijing you may change train and go to Mongolia or Russia. For more information about our train tours click here.
At the moment the only international direct train service between Pyongyang and Moscow is operated by a single Korean carriage 4 times a month. In Russa this carriage is connected to Vladivostok-Moscow train. However this route is not available for foreign tourists because the train service from Pyongyang to Tumangang (border with Russia) is not reliable. Frequent electricity blackouts cause heavy delays (up to 3-4 days). Therefore the only possible way to travel to Russia by train starts in North Korean border city Tumangang.
From Tumangang there is a regular Russian train 4 times a month Tumangang-Moscow: 2 soft sleeper carriages, 4 berths compartment. A restaurant carriage is connected in Ussurijsk city (Russia) 8 hours after departure from Tumangang. The new train service Rajin-Moscow is planned to begin operation in near future.