KTX opens for commercial service


The first trains on the Seoul-Busan route left Seoul at 5:30 AM and Busan at 5:05, and the first on the Seoul-Mokpo route left Yongsan at 5:25 and Gwangju at 5:20. Capacity was 80 percent on the first trains of the day, and the later ones between Seoul and Busan were completely full.

One of the drivers of the trains reported: “I have been in training since 2000. As there was little noise, it was good and comfortable. There is little danger of derailment, due to the articulation design. Any obstacle on the track will automatically be detected. Safety and speed are our pride and joy.”

The KTX story

ALSTOM has been part of the KTX story for over 10 years.

In 1994, The Korean High Speed Rail Construction Authority (KHRC) chose TGV™ technology, extensively proven by the SNCF in France, to modernize its railways, signing a contract with a consortium led by ALSTOM and Eukorail for the supply of a high-speed train system connecting Seoul to Busan. Eukorail is a Korean-based subsidiary of ALSTOM, established in 1994 to manage Franco-Korean consortiums for rail projects. The total contract value for ALSTOM was 1.5 billion euros.

Philippe Mellier, president of ALSTOM Transport, said: “We are very proud to see the results of such a long and fruitful partnership with other French and Korean players.

“This has been one of ALSTOM's most challenging projects — complex in its technology and scope and cultural and geographical differences. It has also been hugely enriching both in terms of experience on a professional and human level.

“We wish Korea every success with its high speed rail operations.”

For more information about the project and the inauguration, see our KTX Web magazine.

With more than 35 product lines and a presence in more than 60 countries, ALSTOM's Transport sector offers complete products and services for new rolling stock, signaling and electrical and mecanical infrastructure as well as maintenance and rehabilitation services to four distinct types of customers: urban transit authorities and operators; intercity passenger rail operators and rolling stock owners; rail freight operators; and intercity railway infrastructure owners. ALSTOM's Transport sector, with sales of 5.1 billion euros in financial year 2002-2003, is among the world's leading suppliers to the railway industry.

Press information:
Helen Connolly
Tel. +33 (0)1 41 66 91 43

TGV™ is a registered trademark of the SNCF.