South Korea has an excellent railroad network. The first railroad, which linked Seoul and Incheon, was opened in September 18, 1899. Other major lines were laid by the Japanese during the colonial period; these included lines originating in Mokpo, Masan, and Busan. These lines connected to Seoul and to Sinuiju in North Korea, where they were linked with the Trans-Siberian Railway. The railroad network was badly damaged during the Korean War, but it was later rebuilt and improved.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the Korean National Railroad, a state-run corporation under the Ministry of Transportation, was in charge of all rails and continued electrifying heavily used tracks and laying additional tracks. As of 1987, the combined length of the country's railroad network was approximately 6,340 kilometers, including approximately 761.8 kilometers of doubletrack railroads and 1,023 kilometers of electric railroads. Suburban lines were electrified and connected to the Seoul subway system. Rolling stock included 459 diesel locomotives, 90 electric locomotives, 133 motor coaches, and 370 electric motor cars. In 1989 the Ministry of Transportation and Construction announced that it was studying the possibility of constructing high-speed railway systems similar to those in Japan and France.
Railroads in the 1980s were useful primarily in the transportation of freight, but they also were important for passenger traffic around Seoul and in the heavily-traveled corridor linking the capital with the southern port of Busan. Although the railroad system grew little during the 1980s (there were already 5,600 kilometers of tracks in 1980), rail improvements--the increased electrification of tracks, replacement of older tracks, and the addition of rolling stock-- allowed rail traffic to boom. Some of the busiest lines south of Seoul linking the capital with Busan and Mokpo had three or four tracks. The 1980s also saw the introduction of high-speed trains connecting Seoul with Busan, Jeonju, Mokpo, and Gyeongju. The famous "Blue Train" (Saemaul-ho) between Seoul and Busan (via Daejeon and Daegu) took only four hours and fifty minutes and offered two classes of service: first class and special. In 1987 approximately 525 million passengers and 59.28 million metric tons were transported by the railroad system.
Railroad passenger number in South Korea have been decreasing since the 1990s. However, despite continuous road construction, railways are still one of the primary means by which South Koreans travel over long distances within the country.
standard gauge: 3,472 km 1.435 m gauge (1,742 km electrified) (2007)
The following is a table of major railway lines in South Korea:
|Line Name||Hangul||Major Stations or Areas Served||Operater|
|Gyeongbu Line||경부선||Seoul, Daejeon, Dongdaegu, Busan|
|Gyeongbu Line (KTX)||경부선 (고속철도)||Seoul, Daejeon, Dongdaegu, Busan|
|Gyeongui Line||경의선||Seoul, Paju|
|Seoul Gyowoi Line||서울교외선||Goyang, Yangju, Uijeongbu|
|Gyeongin Line||경인선||Guro, Bupyeong Station, Incheon|
|Gyeongwon Line||경원선||Yongsan, Cheongnyangni, Uijeongbu, Soyosan, Sintanni|
|Gyeongchun Line||경춘선||Cheongnyangni, Chuncheon|
|Janghang Line||장항선||Cheonan, Janghang, Iksan|
|Chungbuk Line||충북선||Jochiwon, Cheongju, Chungju, Bongyang|
|Honam Line||호남선||Seodaejeon, Iksan, Songjeongni, Naju, Mokpo|
|Honam Line (KTX)||호남선 (고속철도)||Yongsan, Seodaejeon, Iksan, Songjeongni, Naju, Mokpo|
|Jeolla Line||전라선||Iksan, Jeonju, Suncheon, Yeosu|
|Jungang Line||중앙선||Cheongnyangni, Wonju, Jecheon, Yeongju, Andong, Gyeongju|
|Gyeongbuk Line||경북선||Gimcheon, Yeongju|
|Yeongdong Line||영동선||Yeongju, Donghae, Gangneung|
|Taebaek Line||태백선||Jecheon, Taebaek|
|Donghae Nambu Line||동해남부선||Bujeon, Ulsan, Gyeongju, Pohang|
|Donghae Bukbu Line||동해북부선||Jejin|
|Gyeongjeon Line||경전선||Samnangjin, Masan, Jinju, Suncheon, Songjeongni|
|Gwangju Line||광주선||Songjeongni, Gwangju|
|AREX||인천국제공항철도||Incheon Airport, Gimpo Airport, Seoul (2010)||Airport Express Co.|
(high-speed service is available for bold lines)
For former or proposed railway lines, see the articles on the Gimpo Line, Suryo Line, and Kŭmgang-san Line. For planned lines or lines under construction, see Suin Line, Jungbunaeryuk Line and Gangwon Line.
There is no railway service on Jeju Island.
A high-speed railway by the name of the Korea Train Express (KTX) is currently in service between Seoul, Busan and Mokpo. The railway uses French TGV technology. Service started in April 2004—with some sections operating along preexisting track—while service on the railway's fully separated tracks is planned to begin on the Gyeongbu Line in 2010. Trains can reach a maximum speed of 300 km/h on dedicated high-speed track.
In 2005, solely Korean high-speed railway technology was devised, culminating in the HSR-350x and Korea became the fourth most prolific high-speed train producing nation. By 2007-2008, the HSR-350x will be in service on the Honam Line.
There is also a high-speed train for normal tracks, as a tilting train known as the TTX (Tilting Train eXpress). This may be in service on the normal Gyeongbu and Honam lines because the TTX uses an ATP safety system.
Currently, these lines provide high-speed service:
Within cities and towns, two types of city bus operate in general: Jwaseok ("coach") and Doshihyeong or Ipseok ("city type" or "standing"). Both types of bus often serve the same routes, make the same (or fewer) stops, and operate on similar frequencies, but Jwaseok buses are more expensive and offer comfortable seating, while Doshihyeong buses are cheaper and have fewer and less comfortable seats. Many small cities and towns do not have Jwaseok buses, and their buses are officially called Nongeochon Buses ("buses of rural areas").111
Some cities have their own bus classifying system.
|'Traditional' type of bus||Seoul||Busan||Daegu||Daejeon|
|Jwaseok|| Rapid ("gwangyeok", red)|
Trunk ("ganseon", blue)
| Rapid ("geuphaeng")|
| Rapid ("geuphaeng")|
Trunk Coach("ganseon jwaseok")
|Doshihyeong/Ipseok|| Trunk ("ganseon", blue)|
Branch ("jiseon", green)
| Normal ("ilban")|
|Village|| Branch ("jiseon", green)|
Circulation ("sunhwan", yellow)
|Village ("maeul-bus")||N/A||Village ("maeul-bus")|
Domestic transportation improved greatly during the 1980s, and growth was evident in all sectors. The rapid improvement and extension of public roads and the increasing availability of motor vehicles contributed enormously to the mobility of the population. Approximately 51,000 kilometers of roadways spanned the country in 1988, 46.3 percent of which were paved. Express highways facilitated travel between major cities and reached a combined length of 1,539 kilometers in 1988, compared with 86.8 kilometers in 1967 (see fig. 11). The 1980s saw increased paving of roads and the building of ultramodern highways around Seoul (especially in the vicinity of the Olympic stadiums) and between Seoul and such major cities as Busan and Daegu. In 1989 the government announced that it would start construction on nine new expressways with a combined length of 1,243 kilometers. In 1996, when the expressways and two additional projects were expected to be completed, South Korea was expected to have twenty-one expressways with a combined length of 2,840 kilometers.
The total number of motor vehicles climbed rapidly in the 1980s. By 1987 there were approximately 845,000 passenger cars and 748,000 commercial vehicles, up from a combined total of about 744,000 in 1980. In 1988 South Korean automakers produced 504,000 vehicles for domestic sale and 576,134 vehicles for export. In the first nine months of 1989, domestic sales reached nearly 800,000 vehicles.
The expansion and rapid improvement of South Korea's long-distance highway system led to the growth of an expansive, affordable and frequent intercity bus system in the 1980s. In 1988 there were ten express bus companies operating a fleet of some 900 buses connecting all of the major cities of South Korea.
paved: 64,808 km (including 1,996 km of expressways)
unpaved: 22,182 km (1998 est.)
Highways in South Korea are classified as freeways (expressways/motorways), national highways, and various classifications below the national level. Almost all freeways are toll highways, and all freeways except Route 130 are operated by the Korea Highway Corporation (Website) The freeway network serves most parts of South Korea. The Highway Corporation operates service amenities (dining and service facilities) en route. (Freeway system map)
There are 103 airports in South Korea (1999 est.) and these may be classified as follows.
Airports with paved runways:
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 18
1,524 to 2,437 m: 15
914 to 1,523 m: 13
under 914 m: 20 (1999 est.)
Airports with unpaved runways:
over 3,047 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 32 (1999 est.)
Heliports: 203 (1999 est.)
These pipelines are for petroleum products. Additionally, there is a parallel petroleum, oils, and lubricants (POL) pipeline being completed