South Korea Opens New High Speed Line, Introduces Second Operator

South Korea has opened the new Suseo high-speed line, a branch on the busy Seoul – Busan and Seoul – Mokpo rail corridors that provide a third terminus in the South Korean capital and better connectivity for Gyeonggi province.


Constructed over 4 years from 2011 to 2015, the 61.1-kilometer branch runs from Suseo station in southeastern Seoul to Hwaseong City’s Dongtan station and Jije station in Pyeongtaek City before joining the main north-south high-speed line. Running largely underground, its engineering features include the country’s longest railway tunnel (Yulhyeon Tunnel) and its first underground high-speed rail station (Dongtan station).


Operating on the line is Supreme Railways, the country’s second high-speed rail operator. Commercial services under its Super Rapid Train (SRT) brand provide an alternative to Korail’s established KTX trains, promising lower fares and shorter travel times between Seoul and other cities (Busan in 2 hours 9 minutes and Mokpo in 2 hours 6 minutes) with trains not needing to reduce speed when entering city limits.


Utilizing the domestically-developed KTX-Sancheon rolling stock, the SRT fleet comprises 32 new and leased trainsets. It offers 2 service classes with ergonomic reclining seats, in-seat power outlets and internet connectivity as standard, while passengers in First Class enjoy additional complimentary food & beverage service onboard.


The opening of the SRT boosts the total number of high-speed weekend services operating in South Korea by 43 percent from 269 to 384.


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