Gyeongsangbuk-do Tour Reporter: Sang Hyeon Lee
I would like to introduce the V-Train a train departing from Buncheon Station (분천역)in Bonghwa Gyeongsangbuk-do (봉화, Gyeongsandbuk-do and runs back and forth the most beautiful section of Central Korea.
As the V in V-Train stands for valley, the V-train is a train that allows the passengers to enjoy the beauty of the Baekdudaegan Valley and remote areas of Korea. You may have seen the appearance of a white tiger in the middle of a journey through Gyeongsangbuk-do.
It’s a train that departs from Buncheon Station, a station famous for the Santa Village, and runs a round-trip through Bidong > Yangwong > Seungbo and Cheoram stations. It takes an hour from Buncheon Station to Cheoram Station. It is possible to get off and get on the train in between to enjoy the sights and checkout the special products and an array of food sold at the traditional markets located at every station.
The V-train is an open tour train. As it slowly moves to 30km per hour, it is possible to see the wonderful valleys and nature throw the wide windows. Unlike regular trains, it is more popular because it has wide glass windows, thus, in order to get better seats, reservation in advance is needed. It is possible to buy tickets at Buncheon Station and as well as in Korail.
V-train has 3 cars, car 1, car 2 and car 3. This is a photo of the most popular car, car 3. There are luminous patterns on the ceiling that give pleasure to tourists whenever the train passes through a dark tunnel. Cars 1 and 2 have their own fun stuffs, so don’t feel bad if you don’t get a seat in car 3.
The train departs with the attendant's announcement. The fan and the natural breeze coming in through the window eases the sweltering hot feeling of the passengers even without air conditioning.
A rare beauty unfolds. Since car can’t reach this area, the v-train makes to possible for tourist to see and enjoy this hidden scenery. As the train goes down the road, it’s easier to see the scenery. A kind-sounding announcement also makes one feel that they are onboard a tourist train.
Yangwon Station was requested and built by the citizen themselves because other than the railway, there’s no other transportation options for them. At Yangwon Station, the train stops for only 10 minutes and since the traditional market is open, the tourists move faster for them to be able to checkout the goods being sold.
Boiled eggs, makgeolli, buckwheat pancake, omija, etc, an wide array of food and special products are being sold. Since sellers usually bring limited amount of goods to be sold in a short period of time, you might miss out and may leave the place empty handed.
I hurried back to the train and take the last spot on the train. This is a place where you won't be able to easily settle down. Since it is an observation car, watching the beautiful scenery adds to the joy of this train travel.
Once passed Yangwon Station, you can see some people trekking just below the train. From Bidong Station to Seungbu Station, there’s a 2-hour course trekking trail along the railway that starts from Zermatt Road to Seungbu Station, which is also popular among trekking enthusiasts. Please wave your hands.
If you still feel hungry after eating at Yangwon Station, don’t worry because the train will also stop at Seungbu Station. It seems that the V-train tourists are giving so much enery to the villagers. The landscape is a landscape, but getting off to checkout the traditional markets at a resting station provides a variety of fun.