THE HIGH SPEED ARRIVES TO KOREA AT THE HANDS OF ALSTOM
SARA SANTAMARIA ARRIBAS
The high speed works in Korea. The 34.4 kilometres opened last December will be used as test on a line which, in a few time, will be extended to 52 kilometres. This is the result of an intense collaboration between Alstom and the Korean High Speed Rail Consortium (KHRC), the civil works, the put on the rail, the installation of the catenary, the telecommunications, the electrical resorts, therefore, the 12 trains made by the European company and other 34 more which have been built in South Korea under Alstom's supervision. With this opening, South Korea is the first Asiatic country which has Alstom's high speed technology.
The KTX is based on the Alstom TGV trains.
The three next years will be marked for a very quick progress of the project: the 61% of the work will be completed during this year, the 80% on the year 2001 and the 91% at the end of the year 2002. The commercial service in Seul and Taejon will start, as it was planned, on December, 2003. Since April of the year 2004, the trains KTX will work between Seul and Pusan, the section between Taegu and Pusan will be used runing with the change in the electrification of the current line.
To this new fast train, the KHRC (Korean High Speed Consortium) has installed in Pugok (Korea) a driving simulator of the TGV called SIMKOR, tool used by the most important high speed railway networks in the whole world. This system puts a person, who is learning, on real situations which can take place during the driving, placed at a similar compartment to the cabin of one of the trains, and who will react in the same way as would do a train in a real situation to the engine driver's actions. There is a instructor who coordinates the whole system and advices the engine drivers before the different situations which can be found on the driving of the train with these characteristics. A position screen placed out of the simulator allows other engine drivers who are learning to follow his colleague, who is into the train, having direct access to the information of the train and the instructor.
The KTX will be financed by public funds in a 45% (the 35% by direct tax and the 10% by credits) and the other 53% by KHRC (the 24% by foreign credits, the 29% by bonds issue and a 2% by money from the private people). That project is organized by the KTGVC (Korean TGV Consortium) made up of 12 members, whose head is the EUKORAIL, company founded under the Korean laws for the project. Its duties are the representation of its members before the KHRC, the organization of all the activities in Korea related to the technical assistance on the following processes: the transfer of technology, the supervision of the put in service and the assembly of the catenary, signing and tests and implementation of all the systems and equipments, therefore the buying of some units in Korea.
Map of the route of the high velocity's line
The contract includes a total of 46 trains, 12 are constructed in France and the other 34 in the Asian country. The transfer of technology for the production of rolling stock and associated technology is made at the 100%. That transfer includes: the industrial planning, the design and the development of the factories, solder process, production process, assambly and tests. In the same way, have been transferred too the necessary documents to the design, planes of methods, technical and quality specifications, service and repairs.
The contract includes the study, the supplying, the supervision of the installations, tests and implementation of the equipments belonging to the following systems: systems of catenary (electricity supplying, contact wire of copper and suspension wire of bronze), speed control (ATC systems and TVM 430 equipments similar to the ones used to the TGV North and the Eurostar), electronic places (systems used to check the circuits and installations and SSI equipments) and a control center (control center of traffic placed at NAM station in Seul).
Into the work programme of the Korea TGV Consortium, the Associated services are in charge of designing the general plan of service, of specifying the concrete tools to get going it and warehouse of pieces of rolling stock, systems of catenary and signing, therefore of the organization of the operations and training in service to the personnel.
Picture of the building of the line.
Alstom has an important quantity of high speed trains in all the world. In France, it has the TGV Paris South-East with 106 trains, the TGV Red Postal with three trains, the TGV Atlantique with 105 units, the TGV Red with 80 trains and the TGV Duplex with 42 units. In other countries, circulate the THALYS (Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, Germany and France) with 16 trains, the Eurostar (Belgium, Great Britain and France) with 38 trains, the AVE in Spain with 24 trains and the new KTX (South Korea) with 46 units. In numbers, Alstom trains has 164,330 available seats only into the French railway fleet, 63,171 available seats into the trains of the international fleet, 4,702 waggons of passangers and 902 engines.
This project started in 1973, date when it was begun to study the viability of the project; but was on May,1989 when was decided to build the high speed line between Seul and Pusan. Since that moment, started some processes which carried to open this high speed network.
| The similarity between TGV and AVE is obviously.
In Spain, Alstom shows some alternatives facing the high speed project Madrid-Barcelone-French
Frontier, network where it could reach, on the test phase, the unbelievable
speed of 360 km/h. Three are the alternatives for this project:
TGV Duplex (two decks).
It can carry a 40% more of passangers than any other conventional high speed
train with the same energy consumer, thanks to its soft structure of aluminium
which, complying with the most demanding requeriments in security, it can readuce
very much the cost of service and working.
A revolutionary model of the current AVE Madrid-Seville.
It incorporates systems of active transverse suspension that will increase its
important level of confort, but at faster speeds.
It was introduced to the international press at the end of February, includes
distributed and modular drive, of new development.
By the way, one of the three models will be designed and made completely in
Spain at the factories that Alstom has in Santa Perpetua de Mogoda (Barcelone)
and Albuixech (Valencia).
The European high speed railway network not only is a very important fact to
the social-economic development of the European Union, but moreover it is an
important step to the future into the building of a united Europe. The introduction
of a railway system with these characteristics in the XXIst century, without
anydoubt, will offer new opportunities in the whole world.
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