Test track operation to begin with expected outcomes of less time and cost in conducting performance tests seeking better safety and efficiency
□ The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport held a ceremony at 2 pm on March 15 to celebrate the completion of building the Test Rail Track at the Osong Train Depot located in Cheongju, North Chungcheong province.
ㅇThe ceremony was attended by about 300 relevant parties and guests from home and abroad. Mr. Hwang Sung Gyu, Assistant Minister for Railway from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) and representatives from Korea Rail Network Authority (KR), Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) and other domestic agencies participated, along with Mr. Attila Kiss, Secretary General of the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) and researchers of railway institutes from the US, China and Russia.
□ Until now, overseas countries with advanced railway systems such as France, Germany and the US have built and operated their own test rail tracks to conduct performance tests for their latest technologies in a safe and swift manner.
ㅇ Meanwhile, Korea has been carrying out performance tests on commercial railway lines that are being used for the operation of high-speed trains and other rolling stocks. This not only runs the risk of accidents but test time itself is not enough.
□ For these reasons, MOLIT initiated a project to construct the 13km-long test rail track around Jeondong-myeon, Sejong and Cheongwon-gun, North Chungcheong province in 2014 through 2018 with the total cost of KRW 239.9 billion.
ㅇ The Test Rail Track is comprised of a sharp curve of a 250m radius, a steep gradient of 35‰, nine bridges, six tunnels and other installations. This enables a wide range of performance tests that are required at home and abroad.
- Of note, one of the bridges has alterable piers and superstructure so that tests for new types of bridges and construction methods are available.
ㅇ Moreover, both supply of AC power for high-speed/conventional trains and DC power for metro trains is possible for the first time around the world.
- Also, equipped with various railway signals and communication equipment, different types of trains including KTX and electric multiple units can be operated.
□ With the construction and operation of the Test Rail Track, Korea's railroad technologies are expected to be developed further, resulting in sharper competitiveness.
ㅇ Using the Test Rail Track, the developer can swiftly verify its new technologies any time it wants, and the operator can minimize potential risks from technical failure, such as railroad accidents and breakdown by adopting technologies that are sufficiently proven.
ㅇ Furthermore, the tests that the developer has previously conducted in local countries for overseas exports can be performed on the Test Rail Track from now, saving costs and time.
□ “Once the Test Rail Track becomes fully operational following the completion ceremony on March 15, the facility is expected to play a key role in securing railroad safety and developing the railway industry,” said an MOLIT official.