Korea Train eXpress KTX 158: Busan to Seoul by Gyeongbu KTX Line KTX-I/TGV-K Train

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Once done with a little bit of Busan, it’s time to head back to Seoul. Yup, I’m just here to try out the KTX. I picked the 7pm departure from Busan with KTX 158 from Busan to Seoul which is just nice for a few hours in Busan but not getting me back to Seoul too late.

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Heading back into Busan station.

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As the escalators inside the building up to the departure concourse weren’t working, I took the escalators outside of the building instead.

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The Busan station sign on the facade of the station building.

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The view of Busan from Busan station as the sun gets ready to set.

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Heading into Busan station at the departures level.

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There is another level above the waiting hall for restaurants and a higher view of Busan Harbor Bridge.

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The view of Busan Harbor from the higher viewpoint.

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I was here, however, to zoom in on something that I spotted on the way in to Busan.

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Hello, MTR Hyundai Rotem EMUs (R-Trains). Haven’t gone to your home yet?

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The MTR Hyundai Rotem EMUs (R-Trains) are parked at the yard before Busan station.

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Heading back down to board my KTX train as the departure time draws closer.

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Heading to the departure area.

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My KTX 158 train will be departing from Platform 5.

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An SRT train arriving in Busan station.

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The MTR Hyundai Rotem EMUs (R-Trains) behind.

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The station sign of Busan station.

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An SRT train getting ready to depart for Suseo station from Busan station.

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SRT trains at Busan station.

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Strange Korean trains who don’t speak Korean at Busan.

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Taking cover in Busan from the mess back in their new home.

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One of the last sights of the MTR Hyundai Rotem EMUs (R-Trains) in South Korea.

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And here comes my KXT 158 coming in from the stabling sidings, formed of the KTX-I EMU.

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KTX-I Trainset 30 will take me from Busan to Seoul on the KTX 158.

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The driver prepares to take over from the Busan shunter.

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Heading down the platform to board the KTX train.

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The final destination of Haengsin, 1 station after Seoul where the depot is located after, is shown on the LED train destination sign.

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The train number of KTX 158 on the LED train destination sign.

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Boarding my train at Car 8.

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The builder plate of Rotem at the steps to Car 8.

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Heading to my window seat at Seat 5D.

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Oh. That’s… not a glass window.

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At least there are power sockets on the wall.

Spoiler Alert: The current was too low to charge anything. Argh.

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The position marker which corresponds to the train car location.

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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. On this train, there were quite a number of standing ticket holders.

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I decided to stand by the doors as the train departed from Busan to catch a glimpse of the MTR Hyundai Rotem EMUs (R-Trains) before I see them the next time in Hong Kong.

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As I was standing right in front of the conductor as she finished making her welcome announcement on the PA system, I was the first on the train to get my ticket checked. This time, she asked for my actual ticket which I did not have immediately with me as it was in my bag, but I showed her the image of my ticket and the Flexible 2 Days KORAIL Pass on my phone and she was okay with it.

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Departing from Busan.

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Hello, R-Trains.

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Getting my view blocked by some flat freight wagons.

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Uh oh, more tall freight wagons coming up.

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NO.

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A long trail of coupled EMD locomotives followed after. Sigh.

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Finally a proper glimpse of the MTR R-Trains.

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The R-Trains do not have their complete livery up yet, just the basic stripe on the top denoting standard and First Class compartments.

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Goodbye R-Trains, see you in Hong Kong.

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Heading on out of Busan.

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Despite being single occupancy, toilets on board are segregated by gender rather than type. Despite the female one opposite being unoccupied, I didn’t dare to use it.

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The clean toilet on board.

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Toilet seat covers are also available.

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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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Heading back to my seat for the rest of the journey.

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The legroom on board the KTX-I train.

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My excellent view of the almost non-working power sockets from my seat.

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The view of the very full KTX train from my seat.

The rest of the journey was rather uneventful because 1. it was a night time ride and 2. I had a wall for a window. There was also no trolley services or any other unique amenities to document anyway.

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Arriving at Seoul Station.

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Disembarking at Seoul Station. The journey from Busan to Seoul on the KTX 158 took 2 hours and 39 minutes. This train will continue on to Haengsin. I was considering to continue on though, but was afraid that there would be no more trains back to Seoul Station.

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Heading to the front of the train. Unfortunately, there was a No Entry sign right at the 20 Car Stop sign, so I couldn’t get a nice picture of the train at Seoul Station.

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Looking up to Haengsin.

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Heading back to the escalators.

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Heading up from the platform.

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The sign for my train which is continuing on to Haengsin.

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Heading into the ticket hall.

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Heading out of Seoul Station.

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The night time view out of Seoul Station.

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I walked over to the Old Seoul Station just to take a look and get a picture.

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The facade of the Old Seoul Station against the current Seoul Station.

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The night time facade of Seoul Station.

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Here, I headed on to my hotel to finally check-in for the night.

Overall, a fast but basic journey on the KTX. The train does serve it’s function well for people who want to get to places, but I wouldn’t say that it is a must-d for every trip to South Korea as the (too) comfortable journey passes through hills and tunnels effortlessly without must feeling of movement on board the train. In fact, you might not even feel like you’re speeding along at 305km/h. Perhaps I will go for a lower class of train next time to enjoy more South Korean scenery and a more classic train journey.

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