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South Korea Is Ready To Export Its High-Speed Rail Trains And Related Services Overseas, Starts With Exports To Malaysia

by Czarelli Tuason / Oct 19, 2015 11:57 PM EDT
Seoul-Buasn Korean Train Express (KTX) (Photo by Bloomberg / Getty Images)

South Korea is set to expand their expertise in high speed rail (HSR) and related services to other nations, beginning with Malaysia, reported New Strait Times Oct. 4.

According to Yoo Il Ho, South Korean Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister, the planned HSR project between Malaysia and Singapore is being prioritized by the South Korean government to allow the country to expand its expertise on technology.

The government of South Korea will organize a consortium that will work on the bid for the project and will include the Korea Railroad Corp., Korea Land & Housing Corp., Korea Rail Network Authority (KR), top construction companies of South Korea and South Korean maker of HSR trains Hyundai Rotem Company.

By the end of 2015, the consortium will also be opening their doors to Malaysian and Singaporean companies.

"South Korea will take part in the (bidding) process," said Yoo. "It can provide the most efficient model for the Malaysia-Singapore HSR link construction project and other matters, such as technology transfer and regional (property) development, will also be included."

"South Korea has developed its own technology and when you look at South Korea's experience in 11 years of operating high speed rail, it proves the excellence of South Korea's HSR system," added the minister.

The country reportedly has almost 5,000 kilometers of rail network, including 701 kilometers of HSR and 3,945 kilometers of regular railway.

In 2004, the high-speed bullet train from the city of Seoul to Busan known as the KTX debuted and is expected to reach its 500 million mark in ticket sales by its 11th year in Sept. 24.

Korea Times noted Sept. 20 that the KTX has an average of 170,000 passengers daily and have run an estimated 280 kilometers since it first started operating.

In 2014, KORAIL reported that KTX was number one on the list of modes of transportation that travel over 300 kilometers, accounting for 52.9 percent of the shares. Cars accounted for 17.7 percent of the shares, followed by express buses with 14 percent and airplanes with 13.2 percent.

The Korea Herald reported Sept. 16 that the high-speed train KTX, which cuts the travel time from Seoul to Busan from three hours to one hour, is considered the country's biggest "national policy project" at 21 trillion won.

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