Update: The ITX Cheongchun is now operating and a great assortment of photos from inside the new carriages can be viewed at Ian Han’s blog here. Also, some have been searching for the ITX timetable. You can check the departure times when you book online or download the timetable (Korean) here.
From Tuesday (2/28) next week, the new two-storey ITX trains will begin operating from Yongsan to Chuncheon. Tickets can be booked from tomorrow online (2/24), at stations or through Korail’s GLORY app.
Until now, standard subway vehicles have only traveled between Chuncheon and Sangbong but with the new trains using the Seoul section of the Jungang Line to make their way to Yongsan, it will make access to Chuncheon even easier. The trains will only operate as express trains stopping at Yongsan (용산), Cheongnyangni (청량리), Pyeongnae hopyeong (평내호평), Gapyeong (가평), Namchuncheon (남춘천) and Chuncheon (춘천) stations.
The new trains will travel up to 180km/h and only two of the carriages are two storied. Bathroom facilities are available on board and each train will have two cabin attendants. The top floor of these carriages are sure to be a hit and it can assumed that getting a ticket there will not be easy. Nevertheless, the added height of the carriages should provide much better views of the mountains and the Bukhan River (북한강) along the line, though one cannot help but miss the fantastic views that the old Mugunghwa trip provided. The new trains are the first two-level trains in Korea and you can view pictures of them at Ian Han’s blog.
Tickets for the ITX are 6,900won to/from Yongsan and 6,000won to/from Cheongnyangni. Korail plans to implement a free choice of seats at peak times on the first floor of cars 4-5 and car 6. Though the trains will no doubt improve commuting time and convenience for many, it will be interesting to see what commuters think of the high fares. On the opening day there will no doubt be some interviews on the news showing passengers surprised and unimpressed at the higher price.