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    Pyongyang Metro - the deepest metro in the world

    People | Art | Metro Museum

    The Pyongyang Metro consists of two lines with 17 stations (as of 2014): the Chollima line, which runs north from Puhung station on the banks of the Taedong to Pulgunbyol station, and the Hyoksin line, which runs from Kwangbok station in the southwest to Ragwon station in the northeast. The two lines intersect at Chonu station. The last two stations were opened in 1987.

    Pyongyang Metro is one of the deepest metros in the world, with the track supposedly approximately 110 metres (360 ft) deep underground; this may be because of the fact that the Pyongyang metro also serves as a bomb shelter.

    The Metro logo contains the Korean word “ji,” which means “ground” — the V shape below the word then logically points downwards. So, as a whole it means “underground.” In fact, underground railway in Korean is “ji ha chol,” of which “ha” means “under” and “chol” is the short form for “railway” — it literally means iron.

    Construction of the metro network started in 1965, and first stations were built between 1969 and 1972. In 1971, there was a major accident during the construction of a tunnel under the Taedong River for the Ponghwa station. This particular piece of tunnel was never completed; the metro network is now completely located on the western side of the river. In 2000s there was a plan to open new lines reaching East Pyongyang and Mangyondae but the plan has not been fulfilled.

    The Pyongyang Metro network consists of two lines:

    • Ch'ŏllima line, named after a winged horse from ancient Korean mythology. It spans about 12 km (~8 mi). Construction started in 1968, and the line was opened on September 6, 1973.
    • Hyŏksin line, which literally means renewal, spans about 10 km (~6 mi). Regular service started on October 9, 1975.

    People in the Metro

    Daily ridership is estimated to be between 300,000 and 700,000. Pyongyang Metro is a great opportunity for tourists to see locals going about their daily lives.

    Untill recently most tourists saw only 2 stations - Puhung and Yonggwang but since recently tourists are allowed to see more stations.

    Metro Art Decoration

    The metro is completely underground. The design of the metro was based on metro networks in other communist countries, in particular the Moscow Metro. Both networks share many characteristics, such as the great depth of the lines (100 meters plus) and the large distance between stations. Another common feature is the Socialist realist art that can be found in the stations such as mosaics, murals and statues.

    Metro Museum

    The Pyongyang Metro has a museum that covers the events leading to the opening of the Metro in 1973, as well as operations and future plans. There are photographs of the underground construction sites and of the workers as well as various kinds of printed materials used during the subway construction. The Metro museum also contains several large scale dioramas related to the construction and opening of the system.