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New trains to enrich your journey

Train traveling offers something that can’t be enjoyed by car or bus. Special trains offered by Korail provide picturesque landscapes with the various colors dyeing the surrounding nature with the arrival of spring. Old and traditional train goodies such as roasted sweet potatoes and boiled eggs will also enliven the special train journey.

Korail is slated to launch the O-train (right) circulating the central inland region of Korea and the V-train (left) running through the Baekdudaegan mountain range starting on April 12 (photo courtesy of Korail).

Korail is slated to launch the O-train (right) circulating the central inland region of Korea and the V-train (left) running through the Baekdudaegan mountain range starting on April 12 (photo courtesy of Korail).


Korail is set to launch two special mountain trains, the O-train and the V-train, on April 12. The O-train is a shuttle train which loops around attractions in the central inland region of Korea, offering sightseeing opportunities amid the beautiful landscapes of Gangwon-do (Gangwon Province), Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang Province), and Chungcheongbuk-do (North Chungcheong Province).

The other mountain train, named V-train, takes a round trip down Baekdudaegan, a mountain range which runs most of the length of the Korean Peninsula, from Baekdusan in the north to Jirisan in the south. The train runs through Buncheon Station in Gyeongsangbuk-do and Cheolam Station in Gangwon-do.

The two trains are the first of their kind in Korea, and they have been attracting much attention even before hitting the tracks.

The O-train stops at 13 stations including Jaecheon (Chungcheongbuk-do), Taebaek (Gangwon-do), and Yeongju (Gyeongsangbuk-do). The mountain train circulates the five-hour course four times a day, stretching 257.2 kilometers. The name O-train originates from the round shape of the character “O” which suggests “circulation.”

Passengers look out the windows during a trial run of the O-train. The O-train has sight-seeing monitors installed inside to allow passengers to see what is ahead in real time (photo courtesy of Korail).

Passengers look out the windows during a trial run of the O-train. The O-train has sight-seeing monitors installed inside to allow passengers to see what is ahead in real time (photo courtesy of Korail).


The four-car train sets aside rooms for families and couples. There are also individual observatory rooms for lone travelers, and sightseeing monitors are installed inside with which passengers can see in real time what is ahead of the train.

What makes this train particularly special is that it stops at Chujeon Station in Gangwon-do, located at an altitude of 855 meters, the highest altitude for an existing station in Korea, for ten minutes so that passengers can take time to take pictures and look down on the magnificent scenery.

The good news is that O-train passengers can also transfer to the V-train at Buncheon Station (Gyeongsangbuk-do). The character “V” in V-train stems from the V-shaped gorge and the word “Valley.” V-train travels 27.7 kilometers back and forth from Bunchen Station to Chulam Station (Gangwon-do). This 70-minute round trip will be available three times a day.

The train also offers observatory rooms for comfortable sightseeing in the rear car. From Buncheon Station to Seokpo Station, the train will slow to 30 kilometers per hour, so passengers can enjoy the entrancing landscape presented by the valley of Bonghwa, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

On-off glass windows of V-train offer travelers open views of the picturesque landscape (photo: Yonhap News).

On-off glass windows of V-train offer travelers open views of the picturesque landscape (photo: Yonhap News).


This three-car train has an eco-friendly design, minimizing carbon emissions through solar panels installed on the roof. On-off glass windows give open, clear views of nature and allow passengers to open the windows and let the fresh air in as they please.

Wooden seats, fans, and the furnace create the atmosphere of nostalgic old train rides where people used to chat with other passengers on the train, eating boiled eggs and sweet potatoes. It will be a great pleasure of this journey for passengers to roast sweet potatoes on the hearth.

Round-trip tickets for the O-train come to KRW 62,900 and KRW 27,700 departing from Seoul Station and Jaecheon Station respectively. Meanwhile, round-trip tickets for the V-train cost KRW 16,800. Tickets are available at Korail’s official English website or the ticket windows of Seoul Station. (http://www.korail.com/)

Two-day and three-day passes for the O-train are also available for KRW 66,100 and KRW 77,500 respectively. Starting on July 1, passengers will be able to buy a day pass, five-day pass, or seven-day pass as well, ranging in price from KRW 54,700, KRW 100,300 to KRW 123,100, respectively. Passes will be only available at the ticket windows of Seoul Station.

By Sohn Ji-ae
jiae5853@korea.kr

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