KTX opens for commercial service
The opening ceremony
The first passengers
The Inauguration
The Symposium
The KTX project
A TGV* for Korea
The project overview
The project milestones
Key facts and figures
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A TGV* for Korea
Systems integration with TGV* Technology

A high speed train system, such as a TGV system, is a complex and highly-tuned integration of a high speed line (infrastructure) and high speed trains (rolling stock).
The infrastructure includes a straight track, tunnels and viaducts specifically designed for trains running at 300 kph, a signalling system to manage train traffic at speeds of 300kph, and a power supply and catenary system to deliver power for trains running at 300 kph.

The know-how of integrating and testing a complete system of this type requires partnerships of specialist companies and strong project management. The result is the new TGV line with all its components, meeting the highest safety and reliability standards for major railway systems.

The trains

  • the rolling stock order was for 46 trainsets of 20 cars each.  12 trainsets were built in France by ALSTOM and 34 in Korea by Rotem.
  • the trains are based on SNCF TGV Réseau technology, with some modifications notably: composition of 2 power cars and 18 intermediate cars, including 2 motorised trailers, making for a total train length of 388 metres; in addition to a traditional braking system, there is a regenerative type which allows energy to be fed back into the catenary, making for energy savings; the air-conditioning is more powerful to cope with Korea’s very cold Winters and hot Summers .There is a sophisticated fire detection system in main electrical systems and cabinets. This safety-related device is due to the large cumulated length of tunnels.
  • each train has a capacity of 935 passengers (the capacity of almost 2 Boeing 747s)
  • the trains are totally airtight (in order to limit the unpleasant effect of air pressure on passengers’ ears  which is especially dramatic passing through tunnels at 300 kph

Testing and commissioning

  • Testing and commissioning of a high speed rail system is an essential and demanding process. In the case of the KTX system, this process lasted over 3 years . To guarantee reliability and safety, testing has been carried out in all kinds of operational modes, to ensure the system can perform as expected with no risk to passengers, the trains or the infrastructure.
  • as early as 2001, a newly-completed  60-km section of the high speed line was given over to start dynamic testing .
  • on a daily basis since the beginning of January 2004, 25 to 28 of the fleet of 46 trains have been making  trial runs on the line to polish the performance of all installations, material and personnel.

Power supply

  • The double line is electrified at25kV 60 Hz; the supply has an installed output of 960 MVA, by eight 120 MVA substations. The catenary is almost identical to those on high speed lines in France, based on the TGV Réseau and Eurostar models. A de-icing system has been installed.
  • the design of the catenary was done by ALSTOM, with the Korean companies supplying components under the technology transfer agreement.

Maintenance services

ALSTOM is supervising maintenance of the high speed line until 2006. This includes responsibility for providing the maintenance plan, manuals, appropriate training and supervision services:

  • the maintenance plan describes in detail the necessary functions and organisation to carry out maintenance correctly.
  • in anticipation of training for Korean drivers, a train simulator was developed specifically for their use.. ALSTOM trained 174 Korean trainers and trainees over 660 weeks between 1996 and 2003. This training activity was also dedicated to the Korean CTC operators and train crews.
  • 622 maintenance manuals have been supplied, detailing the necessary operation and maintenance of each system and subsystem supplied by ALSTOM. These manuals will be updated every 3 months during the first 2 years of revenue service, according to the operator’s needs.
  • all spare-part and specific maintenance tools  and test equipment necessary for the first 2 years of revenue service have been defined and supplied by ALSTOM.
  • ALSTOM will also provide maintenance supervision services which involve skills and expertise in many fields and which have been implemented in co-operation with SYSTRA and SNCF. These services will be provided during the first 2 years of revenue service.

* "TGV" is a registered trademark of the SNCF

Train control and signalling

Signalling is a key element of a railway system regarding safety and traffic performance. The TVM 430 signalling is derived from equipment used on the TGV Nord.
The Centralised Traffic Centre (CTC) system, supplied by ALSTOM with our Korean partner, enable the overall management and supervision of traffic on the high speed line sections in manual or automatic mode.
The CTC is associated with :

  • an interlocking system provided by ALSTOM to ensure a safe control and monitoring of routes, point machines and signals all along the high speed line,
  • an Automatic Train Control system (ATC) supplied by our French and Korean partners, designed to transmit to the driver’s cab the maximum authorised speed with respect to safety, and monitor in safety the train's speed and position at all times.
  • the integration of these 3 sub-systems lead to a high speed train control system  ensuring a very high safety level.

Learn More

The project overview
The parties involved
The project milestones
The finance
The technology transfer
Key facts and figures
What makes a TGV a TGV ?

Technical characteristics
High Speed Rail System in Korea
[PDF brochure, 1,22 Mo]

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