Korean High Speed Train (KTX)

South Korea has a new and efficient high-speed service known as Korea Train Express, abbreviated KTX. It is often promoted as an indigenous Korean train, although it is actually based on the French TGV.

KTX operates from Incheon International Airport with stops at Seoul Station, Yongsan Station towards Busan and Gwangju, and from Gangnam District’s Suseo Station with intermediate stations in New Dongtan City and Seoul Subway Line 1’s Jije Station in Pyeongtaek. A new line from Wonju to Gangneung is under construction to serve the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Top speed for trains in regular service is currently 305 km/h (190 mph), though the infrastructure is designed for 350 km/h (217 mph). The initial rolling stock was based on Alstom’s TGV Réseau, and was partly built in Korea. The domestically developed HSR-350x, which achieved 352.4 km/h (219.0 mph) in tests, resulted in a second type of high-speed trains now operated by Korail, the KTX Sancheon. The next generation KTX train, HEMU-430X, achieved 421.4 km/h in 2013, making South Korea the world’s fourth country after Japan, France and China to develop a high-speed train running on conventional rail above 420 km/h.

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