KTX – All You Need To Know About The Korail Train eXpress

If you are planning on visiting Korea we have good news for you! South Korea’s KTX line raises to the standard of the super fast rail lines you can find in the biggest European countries. Are you ready to travel at a speed of 350 kilometers per hour? Learn to look up and make reservations for a trip on KTX’s finest.

Ticket Price And Timetables

Fine trains do not translate into big prices. Moreover, travelling by KTX is fast but extremely affordable, with discounts on booking advance and on travelling with groups. Children also get a 75% discount!

Information about ticket price as well as timetables is available on the KTX website here. Train schedules can be checked and tickets can be purchased up to one month in advance. When looking for a ticket you can choose the travel category you wish to travel with and the travel type (direct or transfer). The other fields are the standard ones, namely departure and arrival time and location, the type of train and the number and type of passengers.

KTX Stations

There are four KTX train station in Seoul. They are Seoul Station, Yongsan Station, Cheongnyangni Station and lastly, Yoeungdongpo Station. Each of these location will have a Korail Office where you can get your vouchers exchanged for KTX tickets or the Korail Pass.

 

Seoul Station 

405, Hangang-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 용산구 한강대로 405 (동자동)

 

 

Yongsan Station

56-20, Cheongpa-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 용산구 청파로 56-20 (한강로3가)

 

Cheongnyangni Station

30-22, Dapsimni-ro 11-gil, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 동대문구 답십리로11길 30-22 (전농동)

 

 

Yoeungdongpo Station

846, Gyeongin-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 영등포구 경인로 846 (영등포동)

 

 

KTX Lines

KTX trains spread from Seoul towards the south west of the country to Mokpo and the south east to Busan. There are four KTX lines. They are the Gyeongbu, Honam, Gyeonjeon and Jeolla lines. Below are the maps the stations they stop at along the way.

Making A Reservation

You can make reservations for KTX trains at the ticket counters in the stations, through travel agents, through automatic ticketing machines or through the internet.

At counters, reservations and ticketing start at 9:00 AM. You can book trains one month in advance at the earliest and one hour prior to the train’s departure at the latest. Furthermore, you can make reservations for people other than yourself, granted you pay for the ticket.

Additionally, if the train is fully booked, you can still apply to sign up on a waiting list through the Internet. With a little luck you might grab a seat someone else cancelled. The latest time you can be announced of this is two days prior to departure.

A deadline has been adopted regarding reservations. If you buy your ticket online, if you fail to pay for the ticket within a designated amount of time from when you made the reservation, the reservation will be cancelled. However, when you purchase you ticket they will tell you by then you should pay for your ticket at the latest.

KTX Issued a guide on for booking tickets for foreigners. Find it here.

Discounts

When making a KTX reservation, you will be happy to know you are eligible for a range of discounts. Some discounts are seasonal, so make sure you inquire ticketing counters at KTX stations throughout Korea.

  • On the day of the reservation you can get a maximum 20% off your ticket, in accordance to the type of ticket you have. The types are youth, business, group and elderly.
  • Passengers that transit between Saemaeul and Mugunghwa get a 30% discount.
  • Those taking KTX on a regular basis in order to commute to work or to school are eligible to a 60% discount.
  • If you are travelling in a group of 10 people or more, you are eligible to a 10% discount.
  • When purchasing a seat for a child you get a 75% discount on the fare of the adult seat.
  • Lastly, if you use the automatic ticketing machine instead of using the ticketing counter you get a 1% discount.

Korail Pass 

If you are planning to travel quite a bit within Korea, you should look into getting a Korail Pass. You can buy passes to use in consecutive days or non-consecutive days. However, this KTX service is only available for foreigners who do not have an Alien Registration Card. Those of you who have one can use the Happy Rail Pass. Find more information about it on the Korail website here.

Eligibility for Korail Pass if the followings:

Consecutive Days

  • Normal Pass: passengers over 26 years old
  • Youth Pass: passengers between 13 and 25 years old
  • Saver Pass: groups of 2-5 passengers

Non-consecutive Days

  • Normal Pass: passengers over 26 years old
  • Youth Pass: passengers between 13 and 25 years old
  • Saver Pass: group of 2-5 passengers

KTX Amenities

The KTX trains are not only fast, but also provide a large range of amenities.  For example, the seats are ergonomically build to fit the body shapes of the Koreans.

The restrooms have a vacuum system identical to the one used on airplanes. This ensures that the bathrooms smell crisp at all times.

There are 13 vending machines – 10 for beverages and 3 for snacks. While the KTX does not have a dining car, but you can gen a wide range on snacks, more than enough to hold you over three hours.

The KTX trains are equipped with disabled facilities including a restroom which is wheel chair accessible, a wheelchair storage area and special seats. The seats are located in the second car, which is a first class one. This ensures a comfortable trip.

Entertainment was not omitted by out Korail friends, KTX trains are equipped with individual cinema sets, just like on airplanes! You can catch up on either your sleep or on the newest cinematic releases.

 

Tips

Make sure you print out your reservation details after you finished making the reservations online. Thus, use these confirmation paper along with your passport at any Korail ticketing counter before departure time. The staff will give you the tickets that you reserved.

Anyway, do make sure you at least have your reservation number, if not the confirmation papers.

You can cancel your reservation online. Go to the section “My reservation” on the Korail page menu. The will charge you a cancellation fee. Anyway, this can be as low as 400 KRW but raises as the date and time of your departure approach. However, you can only make cancellations prior to the departure time.

On the other hand, if you have already purchased the tickets but want to cancel, you can do so at a ticketing counter. You are eligible for refunds.  The date and time of your departure will dictated the amount of your refund. After a KTX train has arrived at the destination mapped on the ticket, said ticket will become invalid.

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