A walk along Busan’s abandoned railway
Originally constructed in 1918 as part of the Donghae Nambu line, the tracks were abandoned last December. The old Haeundae Station, which stood right by the beach, has now been relocated* to Jwa-dong, a full 15 minutes by car further from the sands.
The replacement of the line comes as a massive blow for trainspotters and railway enthusiasts, as chugging down by the coastline as the sun hung over the sea, or set over Gwangan Bridge, was most tranquil indeed.
Fear not, though, for someone with the power to do so (probably some suit in an important official capacity within Busan) decided to open up the old line to the public. Hurrah!… but not until next month.
Perhaps because of the wondrous city views, sequestered natural surroundings, and the zero gradient hike; the unruly masses of South Korea’s second city have taken it upon themselves to walk down the old gravelly coastal path to Songjeong beach ahead of time.
And I was one of them. Though I, reaching new peaks of unfitness, only managed to walk as far as Cheongsapo. I was slightly put off, though, by signs which threatened to fine me to the tune of 3,000,000 Won ($3,000) for walking down there. But I took the threats as empty, seeing as the ajumas and ajusshis rambled down there with complete impunity.
The walk is long, and a bit uneven, but the views, fresh air, mad dogs, occasional splatterings of graffiti, and the sunset were sublime.
From Haeundae Beach: Look at the sea, turn left and walk all the way past Geckos, and whatever it is they’re building down the end. Then, walk up the road to the left towards Dalmaji hill. About halfway up, you’ll find the disused railway line.
* Should you give a shit why the station has been moved, Kojects, a transportation and urban planning projects in Korea blog, explains it way better than I ever could.