Korail is Setting out 2015 Vision
A steep rise in passenger numbers and growing container traffic has prompted South Korea’s Korail to set out its 2015 vision, which will see an expansion of its passenger business and strengthening of its freight operations.
The operator is currently focusing on completion of the second phase of the new line from Daegu to Gyeongju and Busan, which is expected to open for revenue service at the end of 2010.
MTB is Korail’s busiest sector and is responsible for commuter services in Seoul and the surrounding metropolitan area. MTB runs eight routes totalling 294km, carrying an average of 245 million passengers on more than 2,000 trains every day.
As the urban area continues to expand Korail has made plans to expand the MTB by 37km this year with the opening of the Jungan and Janhang routes.
Completion of several other projects will expand the network to 480km by 2010, and further new line proposals could see the suburban rail network exceeding 725km by 2015.
President and CEO of Korail Kang Kyung-Ho is confident in the role that Korail can play in the national and international transport markets.
To operate the expanding network, Korail plans to purchase more than 1,400 additional EMU trains for its metropolitan operations until 2014.
This includes the fleet of 10 KTX-II trainsets, which have recently been ordered to work the Honam line and the Jeolla line between Seoul, Iksan and Yeosu.
The first of these ten-car sets is expected to enter service next year. A further build of nine sets will arrive at the end of 2010, ready to handle an anticipated surge of traffic when the Korea 2012 International Expo is held in Yeosu.
Korail is also planning a large-scale overhaul of the freight business, which currently handles around 45 million tonnes a year and serves 212 terminals around the country.
The biggest issues to be addressed in this sector will be the restoration of the Trans-Korean Railway connecting South Korea with the Trans-Siberian corridor and the growing of rail-sea-rail services from Korea to Japan and Russia.
Korail has also set out a business venture strategy, which includes embracing activities such as property development, tourism, facilities maintenance and parking management.
The company will also focus on developing its international consultancy business, which includes a recent contract to provide advice on rolling stock maintenance in Malaysia.