Honam high-speed railway

The Honam high-speed railway (Honam HSR) is a high-speed railway between Osong (on the existing Gyeongbu high-speed railway) and Mokpo in South Korea. The line is a part of Korail's Korea Train Express (KTX) system, accelerating Seoul–Mokpo and Seoul–Gwangju KTX high-speed services which currently use the existing conventional Honam Line. On April 1, 2015, the line was inaugurated by the South Korean President Park Geun-hye with the attendance of 1200 invited guests and members of the public at Gwangju Songjeong Station in Gwangju, the line's terminus. The line diverges from Osong Station on the Gyeongbu high-speed railway, and stops at Gongju, Iksan, Jeongeup Stations. Journey times between Seoul and Gwangju has been cut from 2 h 40 min to just 90 min, making daily commuting possible. The Honam HSR is intended to bring business, and economic opportunities to the province of Jeollanam-do, which has seen slower development than other parts of South Korea. The line has been open to the public since April 2, 2015 for revenue service.

Honam high-speed railway
Korail Honam HSR Line
The Honam HSR (in teal)
Native name호남고속철도
TypeHigh-speed rail
LocaleSouth Korea
TerminiOsong Station, Cheongju
Mokpo Station, Jeollanam-do
(Gwangju Songjeong Station, Gwangju)
Line number102 (KR)
OpenedApril 1, 2015
OwnerKorea Rail Network Authority
Operator(s)Korea Train Express
Line length230.99 km (143.53 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV/60 Hz Catenary
Operating speed350 km/h (220 mph)
Honam high-speed railway
Revised RomanizationHonam Gosok Cheoldo
McCune–ReischauerHonam Kosok Ch'ŏlto


Origins of the project

The most progressed plans for a second high-speed line were for the Honam high-speed railway, a connection from Seoul to Mokpo in southwest Korea, accelerating the service on the existing route that was eventually established in KTX's first phase.

The first feasibility study in 2003 came to the conclusion that the construction of a full line is not justified by demand, and proposed a two-stage construction.[1] The first stage, to be realised by 2015, would involve a connection from a second Seoul terminus in the southeast part of the city to the Gyeongbu HSR, and a branch from the Gyeongbu HSR to Iksan, paralleling the existing Honam Line.[1] The second phase, to be realised by 2020, would include the separate tracks on the section paralleling the Gyeongbu Line, and the extension from Iksan to Gwangju and Mokpo, paralleling the existing Honam Line. The cost of the entire project was estimated at 10,378.6 trillion won.[1]

On January 14, 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hae Chan met local representatives in Gwangju, who requested an early implementation of the project. Lee pointed to the failure of the first phase of the KTX in meeting ridership forecasts during its first months, expressed skepticism regarding the profitability of the Honam HSR, and described it as a long-term project.[2] However, in December the same year, in the light of low approval in the affected provinces, the government reversed its stance and agreed to complete the project to Gwangju by 2015.[3]

In plans made official in August 2006[4] in spite of a benefit–cost ratio below 1,[5] the budget for the 182.75 km first stage (from the new Osong Station on the Gyeongbu HSR to Gwangju) was set at 8,569.5 billion won.[1] The second stage, the 48.74 km remaining to Mokpo, was to be finished by 2017 with a budget of 2,002.2 billion won. The altogether 230.99 km, 10,571.7 billion won project would enable Seoul–Mokpo travel times of 1 hour 46 minutes.[5] Ahead of the 2007 Presidential elections, eventual winner Lee Myung-bak promised to accelerate the project by 3 years (with the first section finished by 2012). While this date was deemed unrealistic by the responsible ministry, a one-year acceleration (first phase in 2014) was announced in January 2009.[6] The Osong-Iksan section of the first phase is also intended for use as high-speed test track for rolling stock development, to be fitted with special catenary and instrumented track.[7]

The project is financed to 50% by direct government funds and 50% loans.[8]


By December 2009, construction began on three sub-sections of the 182 km line from Osong to Gwangju, which shall enable Seoul–Gwangju travel times of 1 hour 30 minutes.[9] The ground-breaking ceremony was held at Gwangju·Songjeong Station in the attendance of President Lee Myung-bak on December 4, 2009, when total project costs were estimated at 11.3 trillion won (US$9.8 billion).[10] As of September 2010, progress was 9.6% of the project budget then estimated at 10,490.1 billion won for the first phase, while the estimate for the entire line stood at 12,101.7 billion won.[8]

The entire line from Osong to Mokpo includes a total of 111.7 km of viaducts (48.35%) and 49.12 km of tunnels (21.26%).[8]


Trains will stop at six stations along the line:[5]

Station Line distance Distance
from Seoul
Travel time
Travel time
(limited stops)
Osong Station 0.00 km 121.78 km 0h46m -
Gongju Station 43.82 km 165.60 km 0h59m -
Iksan Station 89.52 km 211.30 km 1h13m 1h09m
Jeongeup Station 131.75 km 253.53 km 1h25m -
Gwangju·Songjeong Station 182.25 km 304.03 km 1h41m 1h33m
Mokpo Station 230.99 km 352.77 km 1h55m 1h46m

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Chung, Il-Ho (July 2006). "Plan for Honam High-Speed Railway" (PDF). Space and Environment. Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements. 25: 6–8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  2. ^ 호남고속전철 조기착공 어려워지나 (in Korean). Moodeung Ilbo. 2005-01-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  3. ^ "Seoul–Honam Bullet Train Set for Completion by 2015". Invest KOREA. 2005-12-08. Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  4. ^ "High-Speed Train to Extend Southwest Route". The Chosun Ilbo. 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  5. ^ a b c Cho, Nam-Geon; Chung, Jin-Kyu (2008). "High Speed Rail Construction of Korea and Its Impact" (PDF). KRIHS Special Report Series. Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  6. ^ "High-speed railway pushed forward". JoongAng Daily. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  7. ^ "Research underpins Korail's drive to be a global player". Railway Gazette International. 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  8. ^ a b c "호남고속철도". Korea Rail Network Authority. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  9. ^ "Skepticism Lingers Over Honam KTX Line". The Korea Times. 2009-12-06. Archived from the original on 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  10. ^ "Railway to the future". JoongAng Daily. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
Cheonan–Asan station

Cheonan–Asan Station (Onyangoncheon) is a ground-level train station located mostly in Asan, Chungcheongnam-do, although part of it lies in the neighboring city of Cheonan. This station serves high-speed KTX trains that run from Seoul to either Busan or Mokpo. It is connected to (and it is possible to transfer to trains which stop at) Asan Station, a railway station on the Janghang Line which is also served by Line 1 of the Seoul Subway. Asan Station was opened to facilitate access to the KTX station.

Gongju Station

Gongju Station is a station on South Korea's Honam High Speed Railway.

Gwangju Metro Line 1

Gwangju Metro Line 1 is a rapid transit line in Gwangju, South Korea, operated by the Gwangju Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation (GRTC, or Gwangju Metro). It connects Nokdong Station in Dong-gu at its eastern terminus to Pyeongdong Station in Gwangsan-gu in the west, via the central business district and Gwangju Airport. On maps, it is designated by teal (●).

The line began operations in 2004, making Gwangju the fifth South Korean city with a rapid transit system.

Gwangju Songjeong station

GwangjuSongjeong Station (formerly Songjeong-ri Station) is a station in Gwangju, South Korea. It is on the national high-speed KTX railway network, 341 km south of Yongsan Station.

Gyeongbu high-speed railway

The Gyeongbu high-speed railway (Gyeongbu HSR) between Seoul and Busan is South Korea's first high-speed rail line. KTX high-speed trains operate three sections of the line: on April 1, 2004, the first between a junction near Geumcheon-gu Office Station, Seoul and a junction at Daejeonjochajang Station north of Daejeon, and a second between a junction at Okcheon Station, southeast of Daejeon, and a junction near Jicheon Station, north of Daegu entered service; then on November 1, 2010, the third section, between a junction west of Daegu and Busan became operational. The missing gaps across the urban areas of Daejeon and Daegu are in construction for an expected opening in 2014, separate tracks into Seoul Station are planned. The temporary ends of the three sections are connected to the parallel conventional Gyeongbu Line by tracks that will serve as interconnector branches upon the completion of the entire line.

As of November 2010, two train services use the line: the Gyeongbu KTX Line, with trains running along the Gyeongbu HSR or the parallel Gyeongbu Line only; and the Honam KTX Line, with trains leaving the Gyeongbu HSR at Daejeon and continuing on the conventional Honam Line. A number of other high-speed lines branching from the Gyeongbu HSR are in construction or planned, and several more KTX services using connecting conventional rail lines are also planned.

HDC Hyundai Development Company

HDC Hyundai Development Company (Korean: 현대산업개발) was created in 1986 through the merger between Korea City Development established in 1976 and Halla Construction founded in 1977. HDC Hyundai Development Company is the parent entity in HDC Group, which has subsidiaries in construction, petrochemicals, retail, property and financial management, healthcare, leisure, musical instrument production, sports and finance. Kim Dae-cheol is the president and Kwon Soon-ho is the copresident.


HEMU-430X (standing for High-Speed Electric Multiple Unit 430 km/h eXperimental) is a South Korean high-speed train intended for a maximum speed of 430 km/h (267 mph). On March 31, 2013, it achieved 421.4 km/h in a test run, making South Korea the world's fourth country after France, Japan and China to develop a high-speed train running on conventional rail above 420 km/h. The main new feature of the train compared to older South Korean high-speed trains is distributed traction. The commercial version of the train, tentatively named KTX-III, would have entered regular service in 2015 with a top speed of 370 km/h (230 mph), however as of 2019 the plan seems to be abandoned.

Honam Line

The Honam Line is a major railway line serving the Honam region (North and South Jeolla Provinces) in South Korea. The line is served by frequent passenger trains from Seoul (via the Gyeongbu Line) to Gwangju and Mokpo.

Iksan Station

Iksan Station is on South Korea's high-speed KTX railway network, 243 km south of Yongsan Station.

Jeju Undersea Tunnel

The Jeju Undersea Tunnel is a proposed undersea tunnel project to connect the South Korean provinces of South Jeolla and Jeju across the Jeju Strait, with intermediate stops at the islands of Bogildo and Chujado. The proposed 73 km tunnel is projected to take 11 years to complete at an estimated cost of 14.6 trillion South Korean won (11.2 billion US Dollars).

Jeolla Line

The Jeolla Line is a railway line in North and South Jeolla Provinces in South Korea. The line is served by frequent passenger trains from Seoul (via the Gyeongbu and Honam Lines) to Yeosu.


The KTX-I or simply KTX, also known as TGV-K, is a South Korean high speed train class based on the French TGV Réseau. The 20-car formation of the trainsets without restaurant car is optimized for high capacity. The 46 trainsets were built partly in France and partly in South Korea in the framework of a technology transfer agreement, which was the basis for further domestic high-speed train development in South Korea.

Korail uses the name of KTX as the official name of KTX-I. The name of KTX-I is derived to distinguish KTX-Sancheon, which was formerly called as KTX-II, but it is not the official name for this rolling stock.

The high-speed rail service of South Korea's national rail carrier Korail, Korea Train Express (KTX), started with the KTX-I. The operational reliability of the trains was improved over time with better maintenance and minor modifications. As of 2011, the KTX-I remains Korail's main workhorse in KTX service with a maximum scheduled speed of 305 km/h (190 mph).


The KTX-Sancheon is a South Korean high-speed train built by Hyundai Rotem in the second half of the 2000s and operated by Korail since March 2009. With a top speed of 305 km/h (190 mph), the KTX-Sancheon is the second commercial high-speed train operated in South Korea and the first domestic high-speed train that is designed and developed in South Korea.

Korea Train Express

Korea Train eXpress (KTX, 케이티엑스 Kei-ti-ek-seu) is South Korea's high-speed rail system, operated by Korail. Construction began on the high-speed line from Seoul to Busan in 1992. KTX services were launched on April 1, 2004.

From Seoul Station the KTX lines radiate with stops at Seoul Station, Yongsan Station towards Busan and Gwangju, and from Gangnam District's Suseo Station with intermediate stations in New Dongtan City and Seoul Subway Line 1's Jije Station in Pyeongtaek. A new line from Wonju to Gangneung was completed in December 2017 to serve the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

Top speed for trains in regular service is currently 305 km/h (190 mph), though the infrastructure is designed for 350 km/h (217 mph). The initial rolling stock was based on Alstom's TGV Réseau, and was partly built in Korea. The domestically developed HSR-350x, which achieved 352.4 km/h (219.0 mph) in tests, resulted in a second type of high-speed trains now operated by Korail, the KTX Sancheon. The next generation KTX train, HEMU-430X, achieved 421.4 km/h in 2013, making South Korea the world's fourth country after Japan, France and China to develop a high-speed train running on conventional rail above 420 km/h.

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Mokpo Station

Mokpo Station is a station in Mokpo. It is on the Honam Line. It is the westernmost railway station in South Korea. This station is the last stop on the Honam Line. It is located in the southernmost part of Korea's railway station. It is used by customers who visit Jeju Island, Heuksan Island, and Hong Island in connection with KTX.

Osong Station

Osong Station is a train station on the Honam and Gyeongbu high-speed railways in Cheongju City, North Chungcheong Province, South Korea. It is located at the intersection of the Gyeongbu KTX high-speed rail line, the conventional Chungbuk Line and, since April 2015, the Honam high-speed railway. KTX trains began calling there from November 1, 2010, bringing high-speed rail service to the nearby city of Cheongju.

Not all KTX trains call at Osong; only a select number of trains per day in each direction stop there.While not directly attached to the station, there is a KTX test track that connects with the lines just north of the station. The facility is named 철도종합시험선로 and was expanded in 2019.

Suseo high-speed railway

The Suseo–Pyeongtaek high-speed railway or Super Rapid Train (SRT) (formerly known as the Suseo HSR or Metropolitan Area HSR) is a high-speed railway from Suseo in southeast Seoul to a junction with the existing Gyeongbu high-speed railway in South Korea. The line is part of SR's Korea Train Express (KTX) system, and provides an alternative Seoul terminus for Gyeongbu KTX and Honam KTX services to Mokpo and Busan at the Seoul end.

86% of the new route runs 50 meters under the ground. Dongtan station, the first station after departing from Suseo, is the first high-speed railway station in Korea built underground. The SRT runs the Seoul−Busan route a few minutes faster than KTX, while its fares are 10% lower.

KTX lines and services
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South America


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