Opening of the new 61.1km long Suseo high-speed railway has been delayed until the end of the year while further reinforcement construction is carried out at one of the future stations.
On April 25, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced that due to cracks found in the future GTX station at Yongin, reinforcement would need to be carried out and construction was expected to take two to three months. The line was originally scheduled to open in August this year, but will instead open in November or December.
Nevertheless, completion of the project was at 92% in mid-April and electricity to the line has finally been turned on. The first trains are initially being tested between Dongtan (동탄) and Jije (지제) Stations, with full service operations to be trialed closer to opening. Tests will include trains travelling at speeds of up to 310km/h.
MOLIT says that they are not considering opening the section from Dongtan to Jije Station first, despite that it will be ready to operate services first.
More Information on the new SRT Services
As announced in February, the new high-speed train services will be named ‘SRT’, short for ‘Super Rapid Train’ as well as incorporating the name of the company ‘SR’.
According to SR, it will operate 65 services weekly:
- 45 between Suseo and Busan (수서 ~ 부산)
- 15 between Suseo and Gwangju Songjeong (수서 ~ 광주송정)
- 5 between Suseo and Mokpo (수서 ~ 목포)
Travel time will be similar to KTX services but arrive in Seoul (Suseo Station) approximate 8 minutes faster than trains going to Seoul Station. An estimated 43,528 commuters will pass through Suseo Station everyday, while numbers at Dongtan and Jije are expected to be 11,707 and 12,738 respectively.
One question is whether the services will have any integration with Korail’s timetables for passengers wanting to transfer and travel to destinations such as Yeosu Expo or Masan.