By Xu Aiying and Yoon Sojung
A Korean-made low-carbon and eco-friendly high-speed train has been launched with the name KTX-Eum.
The Korea Railroad Corp. said the new train on Jan. 5 left on its first trip on the route connecting Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul and Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, in line with the opening of the Wonju–Jecheon Electrified Double Track Line.
The KTX-Eum is the first domestically made high-speed electric train featuring self-propelled carriages. It can accommodate more passengers because it needs no locomotive and can add or reduce speed in short distances. Because the train is powered by electricity, it emits no fine dust and its CO2 emissions are just 70% of those of diesel-powered trains and 15% of those of passenger cars.
The new train needs just over two hours to get to Andong from Cheongnyangni Station in Seoul, far faster than the previous time of three hours and 54 minutes. This greatly improves accessibility between the Seoul metropolitan area and the country's central region.
With a top speed of 260 km per hour, the new train from Seoul takes an hour and eight minutes to get to Jecheon, Chungcheongbuk-do Province, an hour and 45 minutes to Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, and two hours and three minutes to Andong.
President Moon Jae-in on Jan. 4 visited Wonju Station in Wonju, Gangwon-do Province, to ride the train a day before its official launch.
Praising the new train, he said, ''If roads were the arteries of our economic development in the 20th century, railroads constitute the main arteries of economic and social advancement in the 21st century.''
''The force, which spearheads the grand transformation of our daily lives and supports implementation of the Green, Digital and Regionally Balanced New Deals, emanates from the railroad as well.''