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Pyongyang subway strange stock


voron2019

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Hello everyone!

There was a video posted there:

 

It shows old DK4 Chineese train in service in Pyongyang subway at 5:35 in 2007. I noticed that carriage, which is second from Kim Il Sung mosaic, differs from others. It has different roof form without air conditioning system. Its body is also a bit different.

 

I searched more and found this photo from 2002:

 

https://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/news-photo/passengers-get-off-at-a-subway-station-on-september-16-2002-news-photo/519592290

 

It shows DK4-like carriage, but it also has different round roof and no air conditioning. Window form is completely different from DK4 and looks more like old russian subway trains window form. The interior is similar to DK4 but looks quite poor decorated. Welds of the roof also seem to be quite low technolodgical. 

 

So I get interested whether it's a Korean-made copy of DK4 or other Asian subway stock type which i don't know before?

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34 minutes ago, voron2019 said:

Hello everyone!

There was a video posted there:

 

It shows old DK4 Chineese train in service in Pyongyang subway at 5:35 in 2007. I noticed that carriage, which is second from Kim Il Sung mosaic, differs from others. It has different roof form without air conditioning system. Its body is also a bit different.

 

I searched more and found this photo from 2002:

 

https://www.gettyimages.fi/detail/news-photo/passengers-get-off-at-a-subway-station-on-september-16-2002-news-photo/519592290

 

It shows DK4-like carriage, but it also has different round roof and no air conditioning. Window form is completely different from DK4 and looks more like old russian subway trains window form. The interior is similar to DK4 but looks quite poor decorated. Welds of the roof also seem to be quite low technolodgical. 

 

So I get interested whether it's a Korean-made copy of DK4 or other Asian subway stock type which i don't know before?

 

It could be a single car that was built by the Korean Kim-Jong-Tae locomotive works to replace a chinese-built car that was damaged in an accident. Or maybe it's a large group of coaches also built locally used to lenghten DK4s from 3 to 4 cars.

 

The fact that pictures of Pyongyang DK4s are rare (and they never show the full length of the train) is also not helping, and with North Korea, one can only make conjectures...

 

On a related note, while seaching on twitter, i found this ultra rare and ultra interesting picture of a Pyongyang DK4 undergoing testing on Line 2 of the Beijing Subway!


(also, apparently the North Koreans had their own prototype subway train, before eventually settling for chinese DK4s)

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43 minutes ago, Socimi said:

 

It could be a single car that was built by the Korean Kim-Jong-Tae locomotive works to replace a chinese-built car that was damaged in an accident. Or maybe it's a large group of coaches also built locally used to lenghten DK4s from 3 to 4 cars.

 

The fact that pictures of Pyongyang DK4s are rare (and they never show the full length of the train) is also not helping, and with North Korea, one can only make conjectures...

 

On a related note, while seaching on twitter, i found this ultra rare and ultra interesting picture of a Pyongyang DK4 undergoing testing on Line 2 of the Beijing Subway!


(also, apparently the North Koreans had their own prototype subway train, before eventually settling for chinese DK4s)

I saw the post stamp with picture of that prototype:

https://transphoto.org/photo/1103280/?gid=4921

This one looks even more different, at least, according to stamp. It has 4 doors instead of 3, and 3 window sections instead of 2. Windows itself are small.

 

Speaking about replacement/addition - in fact they had total of 345 double units (690 carriages) or 345 carriages according to some sources. Both seem quite enough for small system of Pyongyang or train extension (for example, it is amount needed to serve one 40 km line of Moscow metro with 8 carriage trains). On the other hand, there are rumors that they have secret government lines or use carriages as spare part donors.

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3 hours ago, voron2019 said:

Speaking about replacement/addition - in fact they had total of 345 double units (690 carriages) or 345 carriages according to some sources. Both seem quite enough for small system of Pyongyang or train extension (for example, it is amount needed to serve one 40 km line of Moscow metro with 8 carriage trains). On the other hand, there are rumors that they have secret government lines or use carriages as spare part donors.

 

Note that the figure of the 345 units is highly debated: it very well might be the combined number of trains made for Beijing (DK2-DK3) and for Pyongyang.

Other sources state a more realistic total of 112 units.

 

Unfortunately, it's never specified anywhere if "units" refers to individual cars, double-units (Beijing DK2-DK3 trains were formed in Mc+Mc 2-car sets) or four-car sets (like the Pyongyang Metro seems to operate).

 

At this point i'd like to update and refine my theory:

 

4 hours ago, Socimi said:

Or maybe it's a large group of coaches also built locally used to lenghten DK4s from 3 to 4 cars.

 

They weren't used to lenghten from 3 cars to 4... but from 2 to 3 and 4!

 

I just noticed in the video that the DK4's second car (between the cab car and the mysterious car) is actually another cab car!

 

This could mean that at somepoint, the Pyongyang Metro reformed it's trains from 2-car Mc+Mc sets to 4 car sets in Mc+Mc+T+Mc formation, explaining where most of those cars went.

 

Edited by Socimi
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2 hours ago, Socimi said:

 

Note that the figure of the 345 units is highly debated: it very well might be the combined number of trains made for Beijing (DK2-DK3) and for Pyongyang.

Other sources state a more realistic total of 112 units.

 

Unfortunately, it's never specified anywhere if "units" refers to individual cars, double-units (Beijing DK2-DK3 trains were formed in Mc+Mc 2-car sets) or four-car sets (like the Pyongyang Metro seems to operate).

 

At this point i'd like to update and refine my theory:

 

 

They weren't used to lenghten from 3 cars to 4... but from 2 to 3 and 4!

 

I just noticed in the video that the DK4's second car (between the cab car and the mysterious car) is actually another cab car!

 

This could mean that at somepoint, the Pyongyang Metro reformed it's trains from 2-car Mc+Mc sets to 4 car sets in Mc+Mc+T+Mc formation, explaining where most of those cars went.

 

This seems to be quite near to true, thank you!

 

Firstly, I saw a propaganda photo of 2-car DK4 set on newly built Konsol station (the only station with two platforms which is on line 2). I’ll try to find a source of this.

Secondly, for low level of North Korean technology it is more like they are able to do a simple trailer car without engines than a fully equipped vehicle.

 

On the other hand, there is this photo of same session from 2002:

 

https://www.gettyimages.no/detail/news-photo/commuters-leave-a-subway-at-a-subway-station-on-september-news-photo/519592510?adppopup=true

 

Looks like it is the same car from previous photo (or not?). Again, the poor decorated interior with boxes for door mechanics is seen inside. Also, it is seen that the end of carriage is painted over and has a door which may be entrance to driver cab. Usually, Russian and Chinese old trains, besides the door, have end windows in end without driver cab.
 

End with cabin is painted over and has door wich usually has painted over window

https://transphoto.org/photo/1178854/?gid=4686

 

The mysterious  car on video, which is second from Kim Il sung mosaic, also seem to have some sort of cab, but due to video quality it is uncertain.

 

Russian subway car makers used to make All carriages with motors and cabs, but some were initially made to work as motor trailers and their cabs needed to be equipped additionally to make them work in head of train.

 

So another question comes - was that model of vehicle supposed to form full trains or not?

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21 hours ago, voron2019 said:

This seems to be quite near to true, thank you!

 

Firstly, I saw a propaganda photo of 2-car DK4 set on newly built Konsol station (the only station with two platforms which is on line 2). I’ll try to find a source of this.

 

This 1977 postcard also shows a 2-car DK4

 

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IN1E_-3lsG8/W0GReq2aLFI/AAAAAAAArPE/XVYNCmB1e50BuwO2cuybYXk4MK6ozXeFQCLcBGAs/s1600/23-0051%2B1977%2BRetro%2BDPRK%2B--%2BPyongyang%2BUnderground-022.jpg

 

And this photo shows a 3-car DK4 set at Konsol station

 

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HGKiLT2_Yt8/W4L3CjJCUzI/AAAAAAAAs_g/NZgSQClEjvgBOm_4l8OJkdyYy9MUSg-lACLcBGAs/s1600/028-Pyongyang%2BMetro%2BBook%2B026.jpg

 

 

Both are from the nice RetroDPRK website:

https://www.retrodprk.com/2015/08/1980s-tourist-brochures-pyongyang-metro.html

 

21 hours ago, voron2019 said:

Secondly, for low level of North Korean technology it is more like they are able to do a simple trailer car without engines than a fully equipped vehicle.

 

Exactly my toughts. While the North Korean Kim-Jong-Tae locomotive works is very well capable of making electric locomotives (hevy articulated ones too), making EMUs and especially subway trains requires a lighter and more refined approach, something that North Korea seems to be lacking.

 

Even their new "1-Class" trains for the Pyongyang Metro are just an ultra-polished heavy refurbishment of ex-berlin D-stock with a ton of cheap chinese components.

 

21 hours ago, voron2019 said:

Looks like it is the same car from previous photo (or not?). Again, the poor decorated interior with boxes for door mechanics is seen inside. Also, it is seen that the end of carriage is painted over and has a door which may be entrance to driver cab. Usually, Russian and Chinese old trains, besides the door, have end windows in end without driver cab.

 

End with cabin is painted over and has door wich usually has painted over window

The mysterious  car on video, which is second from Kim Il sung mosaic, also seem to have some sort of cab, but due to video quality it is uncertain.

 

Russian subway car makers used to make All carriages with motors and cabs, but some were initially made to work as motor trailers and their cabs needed to be equipped additionally to make them work in head of train.

 

So another question comes - was that model of vehicle supposed to form full trains or not?

 

I don't think those Korean cars had any cab... the one in the video looks like a straight trailer witout a cab (unless the cab side is the one away from the camera).

And for the interiors, while it's true that chinese-made DK2, DK3 and DK4 have two rear windows on the non-cab side (as shown in the drawing below - the source website has been dead for a long time)...


https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IN1E_-3lsG8/W0GReq2aLFI/AAAAAAAArPE/XVYNCmB1e50BuwO2cuybYXk4MK6ozXeFQCLcBGAs/s1600/23-0051%2B1977%2BRetro%2BDPRK%2B--%2BPyongyang%2BUnderground-022.jpg

 

...it's fully possible that those korean-made trailers completely ditched the rear windows for a "door-only" end, wich is far simpler to manufacture.

 

But as i said before, even if they had a cab, i don't think they were ever intended to travel by themselves.

DK2s and DK3s quickly became infamous in the Beijing Subway for their unreliability and tendence to fire, so think what could've happened with their crudely-made Korean copies!

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voron2019
5 hours ago, Socimi said:

 

This 1977 postcard also shows a 2-car DK4

 

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IN1E_-3lsG8/W0GReq2aLFI/AAAAAAAArPE/XVYNCmB1e50BuwO2cuybYXk4MK6ozXeFQCLcBGAs/s1600/23-0051%2B1977%2BRetro%2BDPRK%2B--%2BPyongyang%2BUnderground-022.jpg

 

And this photo shows a 3-car DK4 set at Konsol station

 

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-HGKiLT2_Yt8/W4L3CjJCUzI/AAAAAAAAs_g/NZgSQClEjvgBOm_4l8OJkdyYy9MUSg-lACLcBGAs/s1600/028-Pyongyang%2BMetro%2BBook%2B026.jpg

 

 

Both are from the nice RetroDPRK website:

https://www.retrodprk.com/2015/08/1980s-tourist-brochures-pyongyang-metro.html

 

 

Exactly my toughts. While the North Korean Kim-Jong-Tae locomotive works is very well capable of making electric locomotives (hevy articulated ones too), making EMUs and especially subway trains requires a lighter and more refined approach, something that North Korea seems to be lacking.

 

Even their new "1-Class" trains for the Pyongyang Metro are just an ultra-polished heavy refurbishment of ex-berlin D-stock with a ton of cheap chinese components.

 

 

I don't think those Korean cars had any cab... the one in the video looks like a straight trailer witout a cab (unless the cab side is the one away from the camera).

And for the interiors, while it's true that chinese-made DK2, DK3 and DK4 have two rear windows on the non-cab side (as shown in the drawing below - the source website has been dead for a long time)...

 

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IN1E_-3lsG8/W0GReq2aLFI/AAAAAAAArPE/XVYNCmB1e50BuwO2cuybYXk4MK6ozXeFQCLcBGAs/s1600/23-0051%2B1977%2BRetro%2BDPRK%2B--%2BPyongyang%2BUnderground-022.jpg
 

...it's fully possible that those korean-made trailers completely ditched the rear windows for a "door-only" end, wich is far simpler to manufacture.

 

But as i said before, even if they had a cab, i don't think they were ever intended to travel by themselves.

DK2s and DK3s quickly became infamous in the Beijing Subway for their unreliability and tendence to fire, so think what could've happened with their crudely-made Korean copies!

About cab side - I found this picture (i used to find it on some European site many years ago, but now it ended on this site somehow)

 

blog.daum.net/_blog/photoImage.do?blogid=0OyqP&imgurl=http://cfile217.uf.daum.net/original/265CDD3C5406FC43149B77

 

As I remember, it is from 2006. The DK4 train is on the other side of station. The strange trailer is pictured a bit better. It's end is looks to be constructed somewhat to look like DK4 cab, but using simplier technolodgy.

 

And, for example:

 

http://www.train-photo.ru/data/media/198/094-11.jpg

 

This old russian train is fully of motor vehicles which have cab, but body form at both ends of each vehicle is identical and is flat. So cabs which happen to be inside the train are actually not seen aside.

 

The other thing to note - some cabs on old trains have enterance only from one side of train, in this case - to the platform which is to the left if the cab is moving forward. This strange trailer may be such example too.

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12 hours ago, voron2019 said:

 

Interesting find!

 

Looks like that they attempted to uniform the livery of the rolling stock after the influx of Ex-BVG GII-type trains. Probably only one DK4 was repainted. Almost certainly the idea was discarded after the arrival of the copious amounts of D-type trains (wich were bought around at the same time as this video was recorded).

Edited by Socimi
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Found another link.

https://gamp.ameblo.jp/venus1969/entry-12427078884.html
In the middle of this post there is one more photo of DK4-like non-standard vehicle. It resembles DK4 more than vehicle at the beginning of the topic, but it still has following differences:

-looks like it is trailer without cab

-once again this one seems to lack the air-condition system on its roof 

-windows on the ends of vechicle of it differ from DK4. 

-the yellow line and stiffening ribs seem to be a bit higher than on DK4

-the depot number of vechicle is different. Usual DK4 numbers on photos were like 001,007,014,097,etc. This one has the number 231, which may point that it was constructed later than DK4s, but before German GI’s came to subway.

Looks like this really was some non serial bunch of vehicles either for train extension to 4 cars, or for system extension in 1978(1985, 1987)

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voron2019
Posted (edited)

Just want to add some new links to the topic.

 

http://www.dia.janis.or.jp/~nasimoto/tikatetu/tikatetu.htm

This is the full footage of subway, taken in 1995. The photo, related to the topic is this one:

 

http://www.dia.janis.or.jp/~nasimoto/tikatetu/incar.jpg

This may show the interior of one of such trailers. The most standing out a mile difference is the seats placement. Unlike DK4, seats are placed along the walls of the vehicle, which gives car better standing capacity. The decoration plastic appears to be darker. Other DK4 signs are the same, like windows, handholds and air-conditioning, but windows appear to be somewhat smaller.

 

https://www.transporttreasury.com/p1010531293/eb4d9c3da

Two 4 car trains are present. Although not evident, trailers can still be spotted by a bit different windows and vehicle geometry. At the same time, they have conditioning system blocks on the roof, but conditioning blocks appear to be smaller, and as a result, the vehicle has more such blocks on the roof.

 

http://nagoyarail-acv.or.jp/Pictures/banno.t/S07232B.jpg

Picture shows DK4 #074 and part of  trailer #228. Once again, geometry difference is seen clearly.

Edited by voron2019
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