Honam high-speed railway

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Honam high-speed railway
Korail Honam HSR Line.png
The Honam HSR (in teal)
Native name호남고속철도
TypeHigh-speed rail
LocaleSouth Korea
TerminiOsong Station, Cheongju
Mokpo Station, Jeollanam-do
(Gwangju Songjeong Station, Gwangju)
Line number102 (KR)
OpenedApril 1, 2015
OwnerKorea Rail Network Authority
Operator(s)Korea Train Express
Line length230.99 km (143.53 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification25 kV/60 Hz Catenary
Operating speed350 km/h (220 mph)
Honam high-speed railway
Revised RomanizationHonam Gosok Cheoldo
McCune–ReischauerHonam Kosok Ch'ŏlto

The Honam high-speed railway (Honam HSR) is a high-speed railway between Osong (on the existing Gyeongbu high-speed railway) and Mokpo in South Korea. The line is a part of Korail's Korea Train Express (KTX) system, accelerating Seoul–Mokpo and Seoul–Gwangju KTX high-speed services which currently use the existing conventional Honam Line. On April 1, 2015, the line was inaugurated by the South Korean President Park Geun-hye with the attendance of 1200 invited guests and members of the public at Gwangju Songjeong Station in Gwangju, the line's terminus. The line diverges from Osong Station on the Gyeongbu high-speed railway, and stops at Gongju, Iksan, Jeongeup Stations. Journey times between Seoul and Gwangju has been cut from 2 h 40 min to just 90 min, making daily commuting possible. The Honam HSR is intended to bring business, and economic opportunities to the province of Jeollanam-do, which has seen slower development than other parts of South Korea. The line has been open to the public since April 2, 2015 for revenue service.


Origins of the project[edit]

The most progressed plans for a second high-speed line were for the Honam high-speed railway, a connection from Seoul to Mokpo in southwest Korea, accelerating the service on the existing route that was eventually established in KTX's first phase.

The first feasibility study in 2003 came to the conclusion that the construction of a full line is not justified by demand, and proposed a two-stage construction.[1] The first stage, to be realised by 2015, would involve a connection from a second Seoul terminus in the southeast part of the city to the Gyeongbu HSR, and a branch from the Gyeongbu HSR to Iksan, paralleling the existing Honam Line.[1] The second phase, to be realised by 2020, would include the separate tracks on the section paralleling the Gyeongbu Line, and the extension from Iksan to Gwangju and Mokpo, paralleling the existing Honam Line. The cost of the entire project was estimated at 10,378.6 trillion won.[1]

On January 14, 2005, Prime Minister Lee Hae Chan met local representatives in Gwangju, who requested an early implementation of the project. Lee pointed to the failure of the first phase of the KTX in meeting ridership forecasts during its first months, expressed skepticism regarding the profitability of the Honam HSR, and described it as a long-term project.[2] However, in December the same year, in the light of low approval in the affected provinces, the government reversed its stance and agreed to complete the project to Gwangju by 2015.[3]

In plans made official in August 2006[4] in spite of a benefit–cost ratio below 1,[5] the budget for the 182.75 km first stage (from the new Osong Station on the Gyeongbu HSR to Gwangju) was set at 8,569.5 billion won.[1] The second stage, the 48.74 km remaining to Mokpo, was to be finished by 2017 with a budget of 2,002.2 billion won. The altogether 230.99 km, 10,571.7 billion won project would enable Seoul–Mokpo travel times of 1 hour 46 minutes.[5] Ahead of the 2007 Presidential elections, eventual winner Lee Myung-bak promised to accelerate the project by 3 years (with the first section finished by 2012). While this date was deemed unrealistic by the responsible ministry, a one-year acceleration (first phase in 2014) was announced in January 2009.[6] The Osong-Iksan section of the first phase is also intended for use as high-speed test track for rolling stock development, to be fitted with special catenary and instrumented track.[7]

The project is financed to 50% by direct government funds and 50% loans.[8]


By December 2009, construction began on three sub-sections of the 182 km line from Osong to Gwangju, which shall enable Seoul–Gwangju travel times of 1 hour 30 minutes.[9] The ground-breaking ceremony was held at Gwangju·Songjeong Station in the attendance of President Lee Myung-bak on December 4, 2009, when total project costs were estimated at 11.3 trillion won (US$9.8 billion).[10] As of September 2010, progress was 9.6% of the project budget then estimated at 10,490.1 billion won for the first phase, while the estimate for the entire line stood at 12,101.7 billion won.[8]

The entire line from Osong to Mokpo includes a total of 111.7 km of viaducts (48.35%) and 49.12 km of tunnels (21.26%).[8]


Trains will stop at six stations along the line:[5]

Station Line distance Distance
from Seoul
Travel time
Travel time
(limited stops)
Osong Station 0.00 km 121.78 km 0h46m -
Gongju Station 43.82 km 165.60 km 0h59m -
Iksan Station 89.52 km 211.30 km 1h13m 1h09m
Jeongeup Station 131.75 km 253.53 km 1h25m -
Gwangju·Songjeong Station 182.25 km 304.03 km 1h41m 1h33m
Mokpo Station 230.99 km 352.77 km 1h55m 1h46m

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Chung, Il-Ho (July 2006). "Plan for Honam High-Speed Railway" (PDF). Space and Environment. Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements. 25: 6–8. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  2. ^ 호남고속전철 조기착공 어려워지나 (in Korean). Moodeung Ilbo. 2005-01-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-29. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  3. ^ "Seoul–Honam Bullet Train Set for Completion by 2015". Invest KOREA. 2005-12-08. Archived from the original on 2011-10-08. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  4. ^ "High-Speed Train to Extend Southwest Route". The Chosun Ilbo. 2006-08-23. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  5. ^ a b c Cho, Nam-Geon; Chung, Jin-Kyu (2008). "High Speed Rail Construction of Korea and Its Impact" (PDF). KRIHS Special Report Series. Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements. 12. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-29. Retrieved 2010-08-30.
  6. ^ "High-speed railway pushed forward". JoongAng Daily. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  7. ^ "Research underpins Korail's drive to be a global player". Railway Gazette International. 2007-05-01. Retrieved 2010-11-11.
  8. ^ a b c "호남고속철도". Korea Rail Network Authority. Retrieved 2010-10-24.
  9. ^ "Skepticism Lingers Over Honam KTX Line". The Korea Times. 2009-12-06. Archived from the original on 2010-02-13. Retrieved 2010-08-28.
  10. ^ "Railway to the future". JoongAng Daily. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2010-08-29.