Next-Generation KTX Train Enters Service

South Korea heralded a new chapter in the country’s rail transportation with the debut of its first locally-developed high speed train, joining an elite club of nations (France, Germany and Japan) to develop high-speed rail technology. Following a trial run in February 2010, the second-generation KTX-Sancheon, which can attain speeds of up to 350 kilometers per hour, entered revenue service at Busan Station.


Each train will seat 363 passengers in a 10-car trainset, which can be coupled together to double capacity and provide flexibility in operations. In the First Class cars, passengers are seated in a 1-2 configuration with interiors designed to resemble a Korean library to provide a comfortable environment. Second Class cars are configured in a 2-2 layout, with some seat pairs sharing a window table. All seats offer 98 centimeters of legroom (5 centimeters more than the original KTX), footrests and can be rotated to either face forward or backward in response to passenger feedback on the fixed seating direction on first-generation trains.


The laminated glass windows provide sound insulation, ensuring a quieter journey and are equipped with sun blinds. Overhead monitors mounted on the ceilings display travel information and news, while passengers will also have wireless internet access on the trains. Other onboard facilities include a luggage storage areas, coat hooks, a snack bar and disabled-friendly lavatories.


The KTX-Sancheon will progressively be introduced into South Korea’s high-speed rail network. The new trains will operate alongside the TGV-derived KTX-I on the existing Seoul-Daegu high speed line linking the South Korean capital city to the port city of Busan as well as connect Seoul with Gwangju.


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