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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes I am also kind of a train geek, but this is pretty cool news for Korean manufacturing.



Published Thursday, January 1, 2009, by The JoongAng Daily (Korea)

Homemade bullet trains set to run

By Cho Jae-eun <[email protected]>
Staff Reporter

UIWANG, Gyeonggi -- Starting this year, Koreans will be able to travel
across the country on a high-speed train made with independent Korean
technology.

With the tentatively named KTX-II train, Korea will be the fourth
country in the world -- after Japan, France and Germany -- to have the
technology to manufacture a high-speed train which runs at 300
kilometers (186 miles) per hour or faster.

Nobody is more proud of this achievement than Kim Ki-hwan, the
director general of the High-Speed Rail Engineering Department at
Korea Railroad Research Institute <http://www.krri.re.kr/krri/>. He
headed the development of Korean High-speed Train (HSR-350X). The
KTX-II is the commercialized version of that train and was developed
based on its technology.

"It has been more than 12 years in the making. I'm very proud of this
accomplishment," said Kim at the research center in Uiwang, Gyeonggi
Province. He sat in the middle of a pile of research material for the
institute's next project -- the Next-generation High-speed Rail
Project, which is set to finish in 2013.

Kim had seen the project run its course since the beginning - back in
1996 when development of the HSR-350X started.

The project was administered by the government, mainly the Ministry of
Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, formerly the Ministry of
Construction and Transport. Research and development was conducted
from 1996 to 2002. After that, Hyundai Rotem, an affiliate of Hyundai
Motor Group, won the right to develop the KTX-II. After six months of
test runs by Korail, the KTX-II will start operations starting from
the Honam line.

"Japan was the first to operate a high-speed passenger train back in
1964. Although we started late, the technology going into the KTX-II
surpasses that of previous efforts around the globe," said Kim. He
said that air resistance design and noise control is superior on the
KTX than on the Japanese trains.

Since 2004, Korea has been operating the KTX, or Korea Train Express.
At present, the KTX, connecting cities between Seoul, Busan and Mokpo,
is Korea's sole high-speed rail system. The technology behind the KTX
is based on the French TGV system which the Korean government bought
from France.

"We have digested all the public complaints about the present KTX
trains and used them to better design the KTX-II. For example, KTX
passenger seats can't rotate, which can cause motion sickness for
some. KTX-II seats rotate front and back," said Kim. He added that
KTX-II's exterior of aluminum instead of the KTX's mild steel makes
for a stronger cover that will reduce maintenance costs.

The successful development of the new KTX-II signals the start of
Korea as a global industry leader in railway technology. According to
the Korea Transport Institute, it is estimated that by 2020 Korea will
see 7.5 trillion won ($5.8 billion) from import benefits and be able
to reduce around 840 billion won from the national transport budget.
Next year, Kim said that Korea's high-speed train technology will be
used in a project in Brazil. "Brazil wants to build a high-speed rail
system connecting Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro," said Kim.

He said that the actual profit from selling our technology to other
countries isn't overwhelming considering that 70 to 80 percent of the
total cost for development goes into the actual building of the train,
which is carried out by local companies. "However, the international
recognition of Korea being able to export this kind of technology is
invaluable because it will catapult Korea into the global R&D market
and foster more development projects like this one," remarked Kim.

Kim said that plans to build high-speed train systems in Turkey and
Vietnam are also slated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dang! 186 mph, that's going at a good pace. You could probably go around the all of korea in only a couple of hours.
We will be getting somthing like that here in Cali :)

\California High-Speed Rail

Up untill 1938 the US has the lead in Eletric Rail system, hell we use to have the best railroads in the world, but after '38 it seams as if we just gave up.

G/l to korea!
I was tossing around the idea of taking a high speed boat to Busan the next time I am over in Japan just for giggles.
 
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