The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said Monday that the new record speed was set in a test carried out on Sunday at the 120-kilometer section between Busan and Daegu.
The previous record was 352.4 kilometers per hour set by the French high-speed KTX back in December 2004.
The ministry said Korea has now taken one step closer to connecting the 450 kilometer stretch between Seoul and Busan within an hour and a half.
|Korea’s new high-speed train HEMU-430X (Yonhap News)|
Currently, the KTX rail journey from the capital to the southernmost port city takes two hours and 25 minutes.
The HEMU is the nation’s second bullet train developed with Korea’s own technologies, and the faster and bigger successor to the KTX-Sancheon.
The train is also the nation’s first to be driven not by end cars but engines uniformly distributed under the individual coaches, with the space for passengers increasing and overall performance improving.
Since June, engineers have conducted safety checkups and speed tests twice a week. The ministry expected that the HEMU train will surpass 430 kph by the end of this year.
Ministry officials also predicted that the commercial operation of the HEMU will start in 2015 when the train completes test rides of more than 10 kilometers.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)