A roll-out ceremony for Korea’s first KTX-II trainset, also known as HSR-350x, was held at the Hyundai Rotem plant in Changwon on November 25, participated by Choi, Sung-gyou, President of KRRI, Lee, Byeong-seok, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Land Transport and Maritime Affairs, Lee, Jae-gyun, Vice-Minister of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and Shim, Hyeok-yun, Acting President of Korail among some 500 guests.
The unveiling of the first KTX-II train placed Korea on the fourth in the world to develop high speed train at speeds of 350 km/h followed by Japan, France and Germany on its local capability of technology.
Spearheaded by KRRI, the development of the bullet train invited a total of 129 business, academic and research organizations including Hyundai Rotem organized by the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and assisted by the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy, to which a research fund of 210 billion Korean Won – the public and private sectors contributing 50% each – was committed for a period of six years from 1996 to 2002. The successful commercialization of KTX-II is expected to replace imports worth 7,500 billion Won and save public funds in the amount of 840 billion Won until 2020.
The streamlined design of the trainset minimizes air resistance and its use of aluminum alloy bodyshell allows for lightweight railcars, greatly enhancing energy efficiency. These trains may also be used in either ten-car or twenty-car formation, depending on passenger demand, which allows for greater flexibility in operation. Certain core components including high-power induction motors, inverter axle controls and traction motors were locally designed and produced, while a comprehensive telemetry system was developed domestically, enhancing the reliability and safety of the train.
Korea’s high-speed train KTX-II will get on the Honam line in the latter half of 2009 for revenue service after six-month trial operation along the route.