Lonely Planet Writer

New non-stop South Korean bullet train could be faster than flying

A new high-speed rail service connecting South Korea’s two major cities may be faster than flying. The premium, non-stop bullet train service between Seoul and Busan will commence in June.

Bullet trains to replace current KTX service.
Bullet trains are to replace current KTX service. Image by Joi lto / CC BY-SA 2.0

Currently, the high-speed KTX and Super Rapid Train services that operate between the two cities take between two hours and 15 minutes and nearly three hours. The new non-stop service will reduce travel time to just under two hours. This could mean that door-to-door journeys by rail will be faster than flying, if airport transfers and security time are taken into account.

KTX trains at Gwangmyeong Train Station.
KTX trains at Gwangmyeong train station. Image by Getty Images

Prices for the new non-stop trains will start at ₩52,600 (£35). A sample one-way airfare, by comparison, would cost ₩135,530 (£92). If the services are successful, South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has said it may roll out non-stop services from Seoul to Gwangju and Mokpo in the southwest part of the country.

KTX,Busan Train Staiton,Dong-gu,Busan, South Korea.
KTX at Busan Train Station,Dong-gu,Busan, South Korea. Image by Getty Images