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Korea National Railroad (Korean: 한국철도공사, Hanja: 韓國鐵道公社), promoted as Korail (코레일), is the national railroad operator in South Koreamarker.

Korail operates passenger and freight trains throughout South Korea. The railroad's headquarters are located in Daejeonmarker.


Korail operates all of the long distance lines in South Korea, as well as most local lines. TheGyeongbu Line with its high-speed parallel line, running between the two largest cities, Seoulmarker and Busanmarker, is by far the most heavily traveled line. Other main lines include Honam Line and Jeolla Line, stretching into Jeolla region, theJanghang Line and the Jungang Line.

The current list of railway lines with regular passenger service is as follows (urban and metropolitan lines excepted):

  • Gyeongbu Line 경부선 : Seoul-Busan. Fully electrified double track.
    • Gyeongbu High-speed Line 경부고속선 : Seoul-Busan (Seoul-Daejeon and Okcheon-Chilgok in first phase). Fully electrified double track.
  • Honam Line 호남선 : Daejeon-Mokpo. Fully electrified double track. Parallel high-speed line is planned.
    • Gwangju Line 광주선 : Gwangju Songjeong-Gwangju main station. Fully electrified single track branch line, for KTX and intercity services into central Gwangju.
  • Jeolla Line 전라선 : Iksan-Yeosu. Partly double track.
  • Janghang Line 장항선 : Cheonan-Iksan. This line formerly finished at Janghang station, but extended into Iksan when the link between Janghang and Gunsan completed in December 2008. Former Janghang and Gunsan lines consolidated into new Janghang Line.
  • Gyeongchun Line 경춘선 : Seoul-Chuncheon.
  • Jungang Line 중앙선 : Seoul-Gyeongju. Partly electrified, partly double track.
  • Chungbuk Line 충북선 : Jochiwon-Jecheon. Fully electrified and double track. This line links Gyeongbu and Jungang main lines and therefore plays a great role in freight transport.
  • Yeongdong Line 영동선 : Yeongju-Gangneung. Partly electrified. The most mountainous route in Korea.
  • Taebaek Line 태백선 : Jecheon-Cheolam. Fully electrified, as a shortcut leading to Gangneung.
    • Jeongseon Line 정선선 : Jeungsan-Auraji. It's famous as a scenic route, but was originally built for coal mining.
  • Gyeongbuk Line 경북선 : Gimcheon-Yeongju.
  • Daegu Line 대구선 : Daegu-Yeongcheon.
  • Donghae Nambu Line 동해남부선 : Pohang-Busan.
  • Gyeongjeon Line 경전선 : Gwangju-Samnangjin. This line stretches along the southern coast and links Jeolla and Gyeongsang regions. Usually, this line is regarded as a set of branch lines, which feed local traffic into adjacent major lines.

The above two lines were country's main lines before division, but after division, only local trains have been in service. Now these two lines are almost regarded as metro lines, with Tonggeun (Commuter) services in some sections.

Korail Subway Lines

Subway lines

In addition to conventional long-distance passenger and freight services, Korail also operates the following commuter only lines connected to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway:

Also, the following portions of the conventional lines listed below are linked with sections of Seoul Subway Line 1 and Jungang Line, and carry both subway and regular trains:

Korail covers a total of 104 metro stations with its 150 commuter trains. The operation intervals are from 1.7 to 8 minutes during rush hours and 3.6 to 15 minutes during non-rush hours. An average of 2,177,000 people use Korail's commuter lines everyday.

Train Classes

The highest level of Korail trains is KTX (Korea Train Express). KTX trains run along Gyeongbu Line and Honam Line. Saemaul-ho(새마을호), which borrowed its name from New Community Movement, provides fastest and most comfortable service in selected conventional rail lines. Mugunghwa-ho(무궁화호), most popular grade, is third in Korail service order. Almost every rail line has one or more regular Mugunghwa-ho schedule. Commuter(통근열차) is low-cost metropolitan area commuting grade, operated with diesel multiple units (DMU).

In early June 2009, Korail introduced the brand-new Nooriro-ho (누리로호) service, operating between Seoulmarker and Sinchang. Nooriro is almost identical to Mugunghwa with the same trip cost, but over a relatively shorter distance; therefore it initially is positioned between inter-city Mugunghwa and local commuter train of Seoul subway system. Korail also introduced 8 newly built electric multiple unit sets based on Hitachi A-train to be used for Nooriro service. (ko:TEC)

Major Stations

  • Seoul/Gyeonggi : Seoul, Yongsan, Gwangmyeong, Noryangjin, Yeongdeungpo, Guro, Suwon, Incheon, Cheongnyangni, Uijeongbu, Deokso, Bupyeong, Dongducheonjungang
  • Gangwon : Chuncheon, Wonju, Donghae, Gangneung
  • Chungcheong : Cheonan, Cheonan-Asan, Jochiwon, Sintanjin, Daejeon, Seodaejeon, Janghang, Jecheon, Cheongju, Chungju
  • Jeolla : Iksan, Songjeongni, Gwangju, Mokpo, Gunsan, Jeonju, Suncheon, Yeosu
  • Gyeongsang : Gimcheon, Daegu, Dongdaegu, Samnangjin, Butanjin, Busan, Andong, Yongju, Gyeongju, Pohang, Ulsan, Changwon, Gimhae, Jinhae, Masan, Jinju

Labour relations

Most of the railroad's employees are members of the Korean Railroad Workers' Union, which is frequently at odds with Korail management. Strikes, such as the South Korean railroad strike of 2006, are not uncommon.


  • Korail Networks, for Korail frequent riders program.
  • Korail Service Net (KSN), for ticketing management.
  • Korail Adcomm, for advertisement management.
  • Korail Tour Service, for KTX/Saemaul-ho train crew and travel service.
  • KORVANS, for running "Storyway" convenience store.

Locomotives and Rolling stock on KORAIL lines

See also


External links

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