Korea Railroad Research Institute
Korea Railroad Research Institute
  HSR350x looking out for name
DATE   2006-05-04    


Upon the completion of the nation’s high speed rail system at the maximum speed of 350km, Korean railway technicians are bracing up for its debut in the world market; the nation’s breakthrough of independent technology for the past six years from 1997 during which the bullet train(KHST) accumulated 120,000km on test with reliability.  

KHST was given a priority at KORAIL’s international bid for purchasing high speed train vehicles of ten 10-train sets leaving Alstom behind. Korea plans to put 5 trains on Honam line and 5 trains on Cholla line in 2008.

The system is currently called ‘Korea High Speed Train’ which is not an official name but has been called that way until gets a new name. KHST has been called ‘G7’ more often cause the project stems from one of the G7 projects which were designed to bring the nation’s technology up to the level of seven advanced countries.

When we introduce KHST to overseas engineers, we used to temporarily call it HSR350x but it does not quite sound appropriate when the system gets commercialized.

The Japanese high speed train was named “Shinkansen” which means a ‘main line’ in Chinese character and read in Japanese pronunciation. TGV of France means ‘very fast train’ while ICE of Germany is short for Inter-City Express. These names are widely spoken almost like a noun especially because the following upgraded vehicles were names as a series.

HSR350x is what Korea has achieved. Like we name a new born baby, we need to give our new train system an over due title at the earliest possible time.
HSR350x was unveiled to world leaders at Eurail Speed 2005 that was held in Milan, Italy last year and we let them know that Korea is the world’s fourth nation to have developed high speed train.
While the HSR350x full-fledged to open to public, KRRI has more to offer such as tilting train at the speed of 200km on conventional line which will go on test from the end of this year and another high speed system of distributed power type at the speed of 400km. All in all, as Shinkansen, TGV and ICE have eternity in their names, Korean high speed train must have a name that would shed the nation’s originality.

This is a contribution of KRRI President Chae Nam-Hee to the Munhwa Ilbo(A Korean daily newspaper)

Korea High Speed Train HSR350x

Korea Railroad Research Institute
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