Monday, April 4, 2011

Anywhere in Korea in less than two hours

Well, anywhere that isn't on Chejudo (not yet).

The Ministry of Spending Lots of Money on Big Projects has announced that it will spend 88 trillion won (currently about US$81 billion) to expand railway lines dedicated to the high-speed KTX trains:
The government plans to expand the amount of tracks dedicated to KTX trains, which can travel over 230 kilometers per hour, to 2,362.4 kilometers by 2020 from the current 368.5 kilometers. Currently, KTX trains run on the dedicated tracks and normal tracks, on which they have to slow their speeds.
That 230 kph sounds a bit off. My past experience on them clocked in at over 300 kph. Maybe they're talking about an average speed (including accelerating and decelerating).


  1. Yes, but the map only shows new high-speed KTX tracks for Osong-Mokpo, and short sections either side of Daejeon and Daegu; the remainder are new regular tracks.

  2. Frankly, I found their description a little confusing. It's possible that what they mean is that there new "regular" tracks are the original-style KTX tracks, and the new "high-speed KTX" tracks are the newer kind on which the KTX can go even faster.

    Since they're showing "new" regular tracks where there are already standard rail lines, it doesn't make a lot of sense that they would be building new lines with old stuff (unless they mean they're simply replacing old stuff).

    Sigh. If I worked for the JAD (or the KT or the KH), I'd be asking "what the hell does this mean?" a dozen times or so a day until we all made sure we got it right.

    I'd also get rid of b&w, low-tech graphics that look like they were printed in 1972.

  3. I do believe that high-speed rail is THE (continental) distance transportation of the future, so I'm pleased they are to develop the KTX infrastructure.

  4. P.S.

    I also believe urban settlement patterns will need to change radically to accommodate the emergent reality of (vehicular/petroleum-based) commute costs, both economic and environmental.

  5. Geez, would it kill people to build some east-west infrastructure. How about a high speed train going from Gwangju to Busan? Or a flight? Last time I tried going from Yeosu to Busan, the only train option was some slowpoke thing that would have taken 10 hours or so (via god knows where).

    'Tis a very nice drive, though.

  6. I agree with Mark - I had hoped the Pusan-Gwangju link would be high-speed.

    Longer term - Pusan-Fukuoka please!

    Longest term - Links thru NK to Shanghai, New Delhi, trans-Siberian etc. etc.


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