News / Asia

S. Korea's Newest Trains Take Tracks Less Traveled

S. Korea's Newest Trains Take the Tracks Less Traveledi
X
May 13, 2013 2:30 PM
South Korea's national railroad operator has initiated two new lines. They are intended to give passengers a chance to re-explore a scenic rural region whose glory faded amid the decline of the timber and coal industries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman went along for a ride.
South Korea's national railroad operator has initiated two new lines. They are intended to give passengers a chance to re-explore a scenic rural region whose glory faded amid the decline of the timber and coal industries.
    
If you are in a hurry, do not take South Korea's newest trains.   

The electric four-coach O-Train, running four times daily, circles a five-hour 257-kilometer course with stops at 13 stations.

The three-coach V-Train operates three times daily on a 70-minute shuttle between two rural stations 28 kilometers apart.  

On the O-Train, KORAIL attendant Baeck Da-eun explains that those accustomed to high-speed rail travel will experience a significant change of pace and style during a ride on what is known as the spine of the Korean peninsula, until now mostly accessible only by unpaved winding roads.   

“When passengers board for the first time, at first they are awed by the trains' exterior design and the internal décor. But what they seem to like most is the ability to take in such beautiful scenery,” Da-eun said.

  • The O-train at Seoul Station, South Korea, May 9, 2013. (R. Kalden/VOA)
  • A colorful snack bar in the O-train, May 9, 2013. (R. Kalden/VOA)
  • A children's play area in a car of the O-train, May 9, 2013. (R. Kalden/VOA)
  • The V-train rolls shuttle between two countryside stations and has large windows to allow better views of the scenery, May 9, 2013. (R. Kalden/VOA)
  • A view of rural South Korea from the V-train, May 9, 2013. (R. Kalden/VOA)
  • A farmer steps out of his field to exchange eggs for beer from V-train passengers during a brief stop at a rural station, May 9, 2013. (R. Kalden/VOA)

To give passengers time to enjoy viewing the numerous valleys, the V-Train crawls along at an average speed of just 30 kilometers per hour, occasionally stopping at the most scenic spots.
 
Some passengers disembark to stretch their legs and watch a group of farmers.

Others remain on board waving to those working in the field and strike up a brief conversation.

While the V-train's leisurely pace, French-designed interior, large windows and whistle stops harken back to a different era, it also features 21st century technology.

Each of its three coaches is topped with solar panels, generating five kilowatts a day to power the lights, fans and doors.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid