Republic of Korea High-Speed Rail Passenger Traffic Statistics - to 2010
We present annual passenger traffic statistics for high-speed railway lines in the Republic of Korea (KR, South Korea) in the table and figure below. This compilation extends from 2004, when South Korea opened its first dedicated high speed railway, to the most recent years for which data are available.
Tables and Figures (scroll down):
Table 1: Passenger Traffic Statistics - KTX-all
Figure 1: Passenger Traffic - KTX-all
Table 2: Passenger Traffic Statistics - Gyeongbu KTX
Figure 2: Passenger Traffic - Gyeongbu KTX
Table 3: Passenger Traffic Statistics - Honam KTX
Figure 3: Passenger Traffic - Honam KTX
All names of KR organizations, cities and railway stations in are transcribed into the Latin alphabet according to the Revised Romanization of Korean system. This was adopted as the official standard for romanization in South Korea from 2000.
The national rail operator is
한국철도공사 (韓國鐵道公社), Hanguk Cheoldo Gongsa.
This organization uses the English-language title "Korea Railroad Corporation," and uses 코레일, Korail, as a marketing label.
The national rail infrastructure authority is
한국철도시설공단 (韓國鐵道施設公團),
Hanguk Cheoldo Siseol Gongdan.
This organization uses the English-language title "Korea Rail Network Authority" (and also uses the abbreviation "KR").
High-speed rail services are named
한국고속철도, (韓國高速鐵道),
Hanguk Gosok Cheoldo ("Korea High-Speed Railway").
HSR services are marketed as KTX, derived from the English-language phrase "Korea Train eXpress." (The acronym "KTX" appears in both Korean and English publications, and is also used as a logo.)
KTX services resemble the French LGV/TGV model, in that trains are not confined to dedicated high-speed rail lines. The Korean national railway system is built to international standard gauge (1,435mm / 4’8½"), and KTX trains may operate on any electrified line.
The first phase of the KTX system was opened on April 1, 2004. This project included:
1.) Electrification of the existing Gyeongbu Line, Seoul – Yongsan – Siheung junction – Daejeon – Daegu (Dongdaegu Station) – Busan, 441.5 km / 274.5 mi (Seoul suburban services had been electrified in stages from 1974),
2.) electrification of the existing Honam Line, Daejeon – Mokpo, 252.5 km / 156.5 mi, with a branch to Gwangju 13.7 km / 8.5 mi,
3.) Construction of the initial segment of dedicated HSR line, the Gyeongbu High-Speed Line, extending Siheung junction – Daejeon – Daegu (Dongdaegu Station), 223.6 km / 138.6 mi. The Seoul – Busan distance via the new line was 408.5 km / 253.3 mi.
The dedicated high-speed railway between Seoul and Busan is named
경부고속선 (京釜高速線),
Gyeongbu Gosokseon, "Gyeongbu High-Speed Line." (Gyeongbu is a contraction which means "Capital (i.e. Seoul) – Busan.")
The HSR segment Daegu – Busan was opened on November 1, 2010. This segment extends 128.1 km / 79.4 mi between Daegu, Gyeongju, Ulsan and Busan. The Seoul – Busan distance was lengthened to 423.8 km / 262.8 mi because the high-speed line diverges to serve Gyeongju and Ulsan.
Two segments, extending through Daejeon and Daegu, have not been completed and are planned for opening in 2014.
The KTX line through Daejeon will extend Ojeongdong – Daejeon station – Banamdong, 6.7 km / 4.2 mi. A four-track viaduct is under construction on the current alignment of the existing Gyeongbu Line, and will be shared with Gyeongbu Line trains. A new line for KTX trains will extend Banamdong – Okcheongun – Samcheongni, connecting with the existing Gyeongbu Line. This segment will extend 11.4 km / 4.2 mi, and will include the 5.0 km / 3.1 mi Sikchangsan tunnel.
The KTX line through Daegu will extend Sangnidong – Daegu station – Dongdaegu station – Manchondong, 11.5 km / 7.1 mi. A four-track viaduct, built on the current Gyeongbu Line alignment, will be shared by KTX and Gyeongbu Line trains.
The new alignment east of Daejeon will shorten the Seoul Busan distance to 417.5 km / 258.9 mi.
In the tables below, the years correspond to KR fiscal years, which coincide with calendar years (i.e. January 1 - December 31). System length statistics are as at the end of the (fiscal and calendar) year, and are exclusive of segments that had infrequent service by KTX trains (e.g. Daejeon – Gimcheon – Dongdaegu).
"Average travel distance" statistics are derived as the quotient of "annual passenger-kilometers" and "annual passengers."
"Annual passenger traffic density" statistics are derived as the quotient of annual passenger-kilometers and route length. As we have explained previously (see Traffic Density: What Does That Mean? publictransit.us Special Report No. 7.2), this statistic is expressed in "passenger-kilometers per kilometer of system length (or: line length)."
KTX-all refers to all KTX services using the Gyeongbu and Honam lines.
Gyeongbu KTX refers to services operating within the Seoul – Busan corridor.
Honam KTX refers to services which operate between Seoul, Gwangju and Mokpo.
Gyeongjeon KTX refers to services which operate between Seoul and Masan.
KTX trains began serving Masan on December 15, 2010. Seoul – Masan services operate over the Gyeongjeon Line between Samnangjin and Masan, 42.1 km. The Gyeongjeon KTX services carried 118,000 passengers during 17 days of operation. The authors shall add a table for these services starting from 2011.
Calculation of passenger traffic density statistics for "high speed rail" services in South Korea raises a series of conceptual issues similar to those which arise anywhere that HSR trains are not confined to dedicated lines.
For this initial tabulation, we calculated traffic density based on the system length used by KTX trains:
2004-2009: Seoul – Busan, 408.5 km, and Daejeon – Gwangju / Mokpo, 266.2 km.
2010: Seoul – Busan, 423.8 km, Dongdaegu – Samnangjin – Masan, 108.3 km, and Daejeon – Gwangju / Mokpo, 266.2 km.
We note that the initial segment of the "Gyeongbu High-Speed Line" accounted for just 33 percent of the total KTX "system length." Upgraded "conventional" lines account for nearly 66 percent of the total. KTX trains share infrastructure with "conventional" intercity, regional and suburban services, which carry significant traffic. Again, for this initial tabulation, we did not include traffic carried by "conventional" trains on tracks shared by KTX services (e.g. Daejeon – Gwangju / Mokpo).
 
 
Table 1: Passenger Traffic Statistics - KTX-all
Year
Length
(km / mi)
Annual
Passenger
Traffic
(millions)
Average
Travel
Distance
(km / mi)
Annual
Passenger
Traffic
Density
(millions)
         
2004
674.7 / 418.3
19.9
279.2 / 173.1
10.9
2005
"
32.4
273.8 / 169.8
13.1
2006
"
36.5
268.1 / 166.2
14.5
2007
"
37.3
264.3 / 163.9
14.6
2008
"
38.0
262.9 / 163.0
14.8
2009
"
37.4
264.1 / 163.7
14.6
         
2010
798.3 / 494.9
41.3
266 / 164.9
13.7
Notes for Table 1:
Service opened April 1, 2004. Passenger traffic data for 2004 pertain to the interval April 1 - December 31, 2004. Passenger traffic density statistic scaled up to annual rate.
 
 
Figure 1: Passenger Traffic - KTX-all
(passengers per year, millions)
(passenger-km per km of line length per year, millions)
Notes for Figure 1:
Charts for Japan, Korea (KR) and Taiwan are prepared to a uniform scale.
 
 
Table 2: Passenger Traffic Statistics - Gyeongbu KTX
Year
Length
(km / mi)
Annual
Passenger
Traffic
(millions)
Average
Travel
Distance
(km / mi)
Annual
Passenger
Traffic
Density
(millions)
         
2004
408.5 / 253.3
16.7
305 / 190
16
2005
"
26.9
300 / 185
20
2006
"
30.2
295 / 180
22
2007
"
31.0
290 / 180
22
2008
"
31.5
"
22
2009
"
31.0
285 / 130
22
         
2010
423.8 / 263.3
34.3
285 / 130
23
Notes for Table 2:
Service opened April 1, 2004. Passenger traffic data for 2004 pertain to the interval April 1 - December 31, 2004. Passenger traffic density statistic scaled up to annual rate.
 
 
Figure 2: Passenger Traffic - Gyeongbu KTX
(passengers per year, millions)
(passenger-km per km of line length per year, millions)
Notes for Figure 2:
Charts for Japan, Korea (KR) and Taiwan are prepared to a uniform scale.
 
 
Table 3: Passenger Traffic Statistics - Honam KTX
Year
Length
(km / mi)
Annual
Passenger
Traffic
(millions)
Average
Travel
Distance
(km / mi)
Annual
Passenger
Traffic
Density
(millions)
         
2004
266.2 / 165.0
3.2
150 / 90
2
2005
"
5.5
140 / 85
3
2006
"
6.3
135 / 80
3
2007
"
6.3
"
3
2008
"
6.5
130 / 80
3
2009
"
6.4
"
3
         
2010
"
6.8
130 / 80
3
Notes for Table 3:
Service opened April 1, 2004. Passenger traffic data for 2004 pertain to the interval April 1 - December 31, 2004. Passenger traffic density statistic scaled up to annual rate.
The system length tabulated above pertains to segments of conventional line, upgraded and electrified for KTX service. Passenger traffic statistics pertain only to passengers who traveled aboard KTX trains.