Korea Train eXpress KTX 133: Seoul to Busan by Gyeongbu KTX Line KTX-I/TGV-K Train

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The Korea Train eXpress or KTX is another famous high speed railway in the world, with the first line in South Korea linking the northern and southern major cities of Seoul and Busan together. Being in South Korea, I definitely want to try this out despite me not being a massive fan of high speed railways. Also, I had wanted to compare the journey experience on the KTX-I/TGV-K versus the actual TGV in France. I took a day trip to Busan, mainly just to experience the KTX, and reserved my ticket on the spot for the next train in around 2 hours from my time of reservation, KTX 133 from Seoul to Busan.

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My redeemed KORAIL ticket from Seoul to Busan on the KTX 133 with my Flexible 2 Days KORAIL Pass.

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Heading to the tracks from the 3rd floor.

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A set of escalators lead down to the concourse.

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The departure screen showing my train departing from Track 5.

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Heading down to Track 5.

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Car numbers are found before going down to the platform so that you know which side to head along to.

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Heading down to Track 5.

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The familiar Jacob’s bogie on the KTX-I train, just like the TGV.

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A KTX-Sancheon departing from Seoul Station.

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My KTX 133 train from Seoul to Busan, formed of KTX-I Trainset 33.

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More KTX-I trains parked beside.

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The station sign of Seoul Station at the end of the platform. Seoul seems to be the only station with the sign presented in full capital letters.

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The sharp nose of the KTX-I train with the 20 Car Stop sign blocking the way.

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The builder plate of Rotem and Alstom on the power car. Trainset 33 is manufactured by Alstom.

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The LED train destination signs outside the train showing Busan as the final destination.

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The train number is also featured.

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Car 18 is on the southern end of the train.

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Heading back up the platform to my car.

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Boarding the KTX 133 at Car 11.

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The builder plate of Rotem at the steps to Car 11.

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The steps up to the KTX-I train.

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A folding seat is also provided by the train doors, for passengers holding standing tickets who are early enough to get them.

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The overall facilities in each car of the KTX-I train.

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The interior of the KTX-I train. Looks like France already.

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My window seat at Seat 11A.

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As this is a fixed directional layout, table seats are also available.

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The legroom on board the KTX-I train.

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The seat pocket is located at eye level. on the seat back in front of me.

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The fold out table which looks very European, just like the TGV and Ktt.

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The gangway above the Jacob’s bogie connecting the train cars.

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Vending machines are available in lieu of a buffet car or trolley service.

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The basic and slightly expensive drinks menu on board. Drinks vending machines can be found on Cars 8, 9, 11, 13 and 17.

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Air-conditioning is found on the window ledge, just like the TGV.

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Train information is overlaid on the TV programme that the train is playing. Information and announcements are made in English, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean. Interesting order of languages there.

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The geographical route map that my KTX 133 train will be taking Busan.

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Departing from Seoul Station right on time.

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Arrival times to all stations are shown as well. My KTX 133 train would arrive in Busan at 3.51pm.

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Heading out of Seoul Station.

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Passing through Yongsan Station without stopping. KTX trains using this station runs on the Honam KTX Line and Jeolla KTX Line for Seodaejeon, Gwangju, Mokpo, and Yeosu-Expo.

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Crossing over the Han River on a truss bridge.

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The conductor walks around the train to check everyone’s seat on his mobile phone.

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Making a brief stop at Gwangmyeong station.

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Heading on through rural scenery cutting through many hills and tunnels.

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Announcements are made before arriving at every station.

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Passing by Osong Depot.

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Passing by the experimental Tilting Train Express (TTX) or Hanvit 200.

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Passing by the experimental HEMU-430X or High-Speed Electric Multiple Unit 430 km/h eXperimental.

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Entering Suwon station.

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An SRT train passing through Osong station.

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Heading out of Osong with many parallel lines.

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The Honam HSR Line splits off after Osong station.

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Continuing on south.

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Many new town developments along the line.

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Taking a right curve into Daejeon.

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Passing by the Daejeon Depot.

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Entering Daejeon station.

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Time for a toilet visit while passengers are moving around the train when disembarking and new passengers are boarding.

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The toilet is kept rather clean.

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Ah, here’s a trace of France, finally. A cover on the floor indicates it as water and eau, without any Korean words. Unfortunately this seems to be the only publicly accessible trace of anything French on board the KTX-I train.

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Individual sheets of toilet paper and an old school hand dryer are also provided in the toilet.

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Luggage racks are available near the door for bigger luggage.

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There are also snacks on board. Snacks vending machines can be found on Cars 12 and 16.

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The rows of snacks available from the snacks vending machine.

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Arriving in Dongdaegu station, a new HSR station east of Daegu station.

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Making a brief stop at Dongdaegu station.

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Passing by Daegu Shinsegae Department Store.

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Arriving at Busan station, the final destination.

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Making a brief stop in the tunnel before the station. Guess the signal hadn’t changed yet.

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Entering Busan station.

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Disembarking at Busan station. The journey on the KTX 133 from Seoul to Busan took 2 hours and 31 minutes.

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A KTX-Sancheon train parked beside.

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My KTX-I Trainset 33 at Busan after completing the run on the KTX 133.

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Looking down at the stabling sidings and the end of the line.

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Heading up to the concourse.

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Heading out of the platform area.

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The welcome sight of Busan station.

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The ticket counter at Busan station.

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The waiting area at Busan station.

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I headed out of Exit 9 to see how far the Busan Port International Passenger Terminal is from Busan station.

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Looks like a lookout point.

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The lookout point is for you to see the Busan Harbor Bridge.

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Free telescopes are also available if you would like to spy on passing vehicles on the Busan Harbor Bridge.

I didn’t go down to explore on this side as there seems to be lots of construction going on along the road below.

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Heading out of Exit 7 to the Busan Metro instead.

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The first sight of Busan from Busan station.

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Heading down the escalator to the ground floor.

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The facade of Busan station. There is a Busan Metro entrance in the station but I wanted a shot of the station building itself, hence I walked out from the sheltered areas.

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There are more Busan Metro entrances by the main road.

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Texas Street and (I think) Chinatown is across the main road from Busan station.

From here, I headed off on the Busan Metro for a little bit of sightseeing before heading back to Seoul.

Overall, an interesting first ride on the KTX. The train is a bit more comfortable than the French counterpart with reclining seats (the ones on the TGV don’t recline), but mostly, it still gives off a French vibe to it. The speed was pretty impressive too, at a maximum of 305 km/h with 2 power cars for 18 passenger cars in the middle, as compared with the French standard of 8 passenger cars with 2 power cars.

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