One of the most convenient ways to travel between cities in Korea is by train. Bus schedules can vary depending on traffic, but that is hardly the case for the railroad, allowing passengers to make more exact travel plans and move to destinations on time.
Korean trains are classified based on their speed and the amenities offered onboard. There are generally seven classifications: KTX express trains, including KTX-Sancheon, and the non-express Saemaeul, ITX-Saemaeul, ITX-Cheongchun, Mugunghwa, and KORAIL tourist trains.
Ticket prices depend on the classification of the train and distance traveled. The two main railway lines are Gyeongbu Line and Honam Line but other railway lines also include Jeolla and Gyeongjeon Line, which reach as far as Yeosu and Changwon on the south coast.
For an affordable vacation traveling around Korea, the KORAIL Pass, an exclusive railway pass for foreign visitors, allows unlimited use of all trains, including KTX express trains, for a certain number of days (please visit www.letskorail.com for more information).
Major Train Stations in Seoul
Seoul Station is one of the most important railway stations in Seoul, and it used to only offer train services for the Gyeongbu Line including Daejeon, Dongdaegu, Singyeongju and Busan Station. However, Seoul Station has also extended its train service to the southwest region of Korea on the Honam Line, with effect from December 2016.
Location: Seoul Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 4, AREX, Gyeongui–Jungang Line), Exit 2
Yongsan Station is the start of the Honam Line that offers train services to Seodaejeon, Nonsan, Gwangju-Songjeong, and Mokpo Station. Since December 2016, the train from Yeosu Expo Station via Iksan is available not only on the Jeolla Line but also includes Gyeongbu Line.
Location: Yongsan Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, Gyeongui–Jungang Line), follow the connecting passage inside.
This station is for non-express trains headed to the eastern provinces for tourist sites such as Gangneung and Jeongseon in Gangwon-do, Andong, and Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do regions, and the ITX Cheongchun train for Chuncheon. Express trains or KTXs do not pass through this station.
Location: Cheongnyangni Station (Seoul Subway Line 1, Gyeongui–Jungang Line), Exit 1.
Yeongdeungpo Station covers the travel needs of passengers in the southwest part of Seoul. Opened in 1990, the station is Seoul's first privately operated railway station. All non-express trains passing through Yeongdeungpo Station make stops here.
Location: Yeongdeungpo Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 1.
From Gangnam to various major cities in the nation, a new express train known as SRT (Super Rapid Train) was introduced in December 9, 2016. Presently, the SRT offers train services that depart from Suseo Station in Seoul to Busan and Mokpo Station.
Location: Suseo Station (Seoul Subway Line 3, Bundang Line), Exit 5.
※ For more information, please visit KORAIL or SR official websites or make a phone inquiry.
KORAIL Customer Call Center: +82-1599-7777 (English)
KORAIL Website: http://info.korail.com/mbs/english/index.jsp (Korean, English)
SR Customer Service: +82-1800-1472 (English)
SR Website: https://etk.srail.co.kr/main.do (Korean only)
Classification of Trains
Korea Train Express (KTX)
On April 1, 2004, Korea's new express train, hence called the KTX, opened for business. This new high-speed train has been designed to reach speeds of 305 km per hour. Thanks to KTX, the travel time from Seoul to Busan is reduced to less than three hours, cutting the original travel time almost in half.
Operated on Gyeongbu, Honam and Gyeongjeon Lines, the train runs in place of regular Saemaeul trains, running at a slightly faster speed.
Mugunghwa has been up and running successfully from 1960, the oldest form of train carts existing in Korea's mass transportation history.
Super Rapid Train (SRT)
On December 9, 2016, a new super rapid train, known as the SRT begins operation from Suseo Station.
- Major train stations’ information and photos courtesy of KORAIL
- Suseo Station and SRT train photos courtesy of Supreme Railways (SR)
This page was last updated on December 29, 2016, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.