A graphic model of "S-train" which will operate along the southern coast of the peninsula starting Sep. 27. / Courtesy of Korail
By Yun Suh-young
The Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail), which will begin operating new tourism routes running along the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula from September, is recruiting passengers for a free trial ride.
The new services, which run between Busan to Yeosu and Gwangju to Masan, will begin commercial operations on Sep. 27. The trial run will take place on Sep. 25.
The company will select 100 people through a public contest. Those who wish to take the trial ride must submit a written application through the Korail homepage (www.korail.com). The application must include either a special, fun, or heartwarming episode related to train travel or a reason why he or she must take the trial ride.
The application deadline is Aug. 19. The notice for application is available on the main page of the website. Foreigners who can read Korean will be at an advantage, however, as the notice on the website is not available in English although foreigners are still allowed to apply and submit their applications in English.
Selected applicants will be announced on Aug. 28.
The "S-train" is the newest addition to Korail's tourism-specialized trains — the "O-train" and the "V-train" which circle the central inland region of the peninsula. The O and V trains have been widely popular since their inception in April, attracting 130,000 passengers.
The S-train, where the S stands for "south," will make a round trip everyday along the two routes — from Busan to Yeosu Expo Station and from Gwangju to Masan. The one-way route takes four hours and 30 minutes.
The train is equipped with five carriages and 218 seats. Its carriages are divided by different themes such as "healing," "family," "bar," "tea," and "leisure and sports."
The bar section has its own barista and the tea section offers traditional tea drinking experience.