Pyongyang to Vladivostok...


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North Korea uses a rail gauge of 1435mm, while Russia uses 1520mm. The washington post notes that this causes a considerable wait at the border for Kim's train during his trip... Does anyone know what happens at this point to allow the same consist to continue on to Vladivostok? Do they actually widen the axles? :LOL:
Here in Europe, when Russian rolling stock arrive at the 1435/1520, the car body is lifted and the 1520 mm bogeys are replaced with 1435 mm bogeys. This method is used for passenger cars; as far as I know, there is no exchange of freight cars from the Russian network to the European one: cargo is transhipped to another train (since we are mostly speaking about containers, this is not as complex as it sounds). Moreover, the Russian loading gauge is larger than the standard European one, so many cars wouldn't be able to run on European lines anyway.

Variable gauge axles are in use at the Spanish/French border, but they are only fitted to light passenger rolling stock. Freight cars swap their 1668 mm bogeys for 1435 mm bogeys.
In some locations, the bogies are automatically adjusted on the fly such as when trains travel between Spain and France, or manually by hoisting the rail cars up on cranes and slipping in a properly-sized bogey. My feeling is this will be a manual process.