Korail’s new high-speed train, KTX-Eum, made its commercial debut on 5 January.
KTX-Eum is the first multiple power unit train developed solely with South Korean technologies.
KTX-Eum uses a GPS system for safe operation and adopts the fourth-generation mobile network for railways (LTE-R). Notably, this is the world’s very first application of LTE-R technology on high-speed trains, and enables real-time sharing of information between trains, railway traffic control centres, railway stations and relevant personnel.
In terms of technology, KTX-Eum’s train control and monitoring system provides traffic data and failure detection signals on train cab monitors. And its signalling systems, such as automatic train protection and automatic train stop, safely slow down the train when it exceeds the speed limit. In addition, backup systems are installed on the main equipment/circuits so as to be able to function when one part of the system fails, thereby enabling operation of the train as normal.
The South Korean government plans to gradually replace all diesel trains with eco-friendly electric multiple unit (EMU) trains, such as KTX-Eum, to accomplish the goal of net-zero by 2050. This move will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70,000 tonnes annually.
This new high-speed train has shortened travel time between Seoul and North Gyeongsang province (219.4 km) to only two hours, far faster than the previous time of three hours and 54 minutes by car. In addition, KTX-Eum is expected to accelerate balanced regional development by reduced commuting times from provincial towns to the Seoul metropolitan area.
Son Byeong-seok, CEO of Korail, said, “Since the launch of KTX, purchased from France, we have developed KTX-Sancheon and then Korea’s first high-speed multiple power unit, KTX-Eum, with our own technology. Indeed, it is a meaningful step forward toward emerging as a railway technology powerhouse.” “Korail will slash carbon footprints and foster regional development by introducing more environmentally friendly trains that run on electricity,” he added.