Official opening of first section of the high speed line
for the Korean TGV
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ALSTOM and the Korea High Speed Rail Authority (KHRC)
announce that the Korean TGV, called KTX from today, has run on
the first section of the Seoul - Pusan high speed line. This
section of the line was officially inaugurated today, 16
December 1999, in the presence of the Korean Republic's
President, Dae Jung Kim.
The section, which will serve as a test track, consists of
34.4 km, soon to be extended to 52 km. During the next 52
months, the 46 KTX trainsets will be tested on the test track
incrementally, as they are delivered. The speed will be
increased progressively from 40 km to 300 km/h to prove all of
the programmes within the planned tests, before final
acceptance of the rolling stock by KHRC.
The result of close collaboration between ALSTOM and KHRC,
the Korean TGV project has fulfilled all contractual
engagements within the stipulated timelines, which were
confirmed in 1998. The civil engineering, track laying,
catenary installation, a part of the signalling,
telecommunications and the electrical sub-stations were
finished in October 1999 for the first section of test track.
Twelve trainsets out of the total of 46 are being built in
France by ALSTOM, which is also supervising the manufacture of
34 trainsets in South Korea.
The next three years will be marked by the project's rapid
progress: 61% of the work will be completed by the year 2000,
80% by 2001 and 91% by the end of 2002. Commercial service
between Seoul and Taejon will commence as planned in December
2003. As of April 2004, KTX trains will be operating between
Seoul and Pusan, and for the Taegu-Pusan section operating on
the existing electrified line.
With this inauguration, South Korea becomes the world's
eighth country to own a TGV rail system and the first Asian
country to use this technology.