Within five years, the average travel time by rail from Seoul to Busan will be shortened by twenty minutes, to two hours and twenty minutes.
A high-speed train, running at the world’s fastest speed of 400km per hour, will also be developed.
Kim Jong-seong has more.
Today, it takes on average of two hours and forty minutes to travel from Seoul to Busan by KTX. By 2020, however, the travel time will be reduced by twenty minutes, to two hours and twenty minutes.
This is because the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport has decided to reduce the number of stops in order to take full advantage of the true character of high-speed railways.
Starting this year, the Ministry will increase the proportion of trains that stop at less than three stations from 5% to 15%. The proportion will be gradually increased, and a non-stop train that can reduce the travel time to two hours or less may also be introduced.
First, a pilot train will operate in the second half of the year, and will be applied to other lines like Seoul and Gwangju.
<Kwon Hyuk-jin / Chief of Railway Policy at Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport> "Because the launch of the Suseo high-speed railway has increased the operation of high-speed trains by 43 percent, there will be little inconvenience incurred (by the reduction of stops)... We plan to minimize any inconvenience through inspections by expert organizations."
In addition, they will prepare within the year a specific plan to invest in facility equipment, so that domestic trains can run at the world's fastest speed of 400km per hour in the long run. They also plan to upgrade facilities at six commercial rail routes, including the West Sea line, Gyeongjeon line, and the Central line, so that the trains could operate at maximum speeds of 200-250km.
Moreover, high-speed railways will be supplemented with seismic reinforcements by 2018, and commercial railways by 2019. Railway safety policies will also be implemented, including installing screen doors at all metro railway stations later this year.
Kim Jong-seong reporting for Yonhap News TV.
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