Matterhorn Gotthard Railway Partnership with Korail (Korean Railroad Corporation)
It all began in 2013 following the 50th anniversary of the beginning of trade relations between South Korea and Switzerland. Korail’s railway station Buncheon and the MGB’s station Zermatt as well as the V-Train and the Glacier Express were twinned. The cooperation was increased and the next logical step was the formation of a partnership between the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway and Korail (Korean Railroad Corporation) in 2015. The aims of the partnership are the mutual promotion of tourism and increased collaboration between both companies, which include among other activities, a regular exchange of personnel. The idea being primarily to strengthen the public’s awareness of both places.
We are pleased to be able to introduce you to some of the Korean tourist trains:
Korean Tourist Train – the V-Train
The V-Train is more or less the Korean counterpart to our Glacier Express. It is also a mountain panorama train and it covers a distance of 27.7 kilometres in roughly one hour.
The 2V" stands for "valley" – a reference to the beautiful valleys it traverses. The train has 3 coaches with a total of 158 seats, which are placed so that everyone sits facing a window and can completely appreciate the lovely views. Which side of the train is better? Just follow the locals – they know best. The coach is very colourful and decorated with floral motifs and is totally unlike any trains you find in Switzerland.
The train runs from Tuesday to Sunday and never on Mondays. The timetable can change every month. To be up-to-date it is best to consult the times directly on Korail.com. The train’s route is through the Baekdudaegan mountain gorge. The stations it serves are: Buncheon – Bidong – Yangwon – Seungbu and Cheoram.
- There are brief photo-stops of about 5 to 10 minutes at Yangwon and Seungbu stations.
- The scenery is similar to the "Grindji" gorge in Brig.
- During the trip music is played and some information is given in Korean about the landscape, the train and the partnership with the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway. Unfortunately, this information is not provided in English. However, you can ask the conductor on board if he speaks English.
- In Buncheon you really must see its beautiful station.
Buncheon station – the Korean Zermatt (route V-Train)
Following the 50th anniversary of the beginning of trade relations between Switzerland and South Korea the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway (MGBahn) and the Korean State Railway (Korail), in cooperation with Swiss Tourism, the Swiss Travel System and RailEurope, forged a collaboration and twinned the two railways. The stations of Buncheon and Zermatt are twinned as are the two panorama trains, The V Train and the Glacier Express. Buncheon station is around four hours south of Seoul at the foot of the Korean mountains.
The O train
The O Train does a round-trip with 4 coaches through three provinces in inland Korea: Gangwon-do, Chuncheong-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do. The abbreviation "O" stands for "one" and indicates a round-trip. There are 112 seats in the Eco Room, 37 further seats for handicapped travellers and 56 seats for families. There are also couple-rooms, family compartments and viewing seats available.
The O train timetable
The O Train also only runs from Tuesday to Sunday and never on Mondays, like the V Train. The timetable can change every month. To be up-to-date it is best to consult the times directly on Korail.com.
Informations about the O Train
- Every seat is equipped with an electric socket.
- There are various screens spread around the train where you can watch a "live" view of the trip.
- It is not uncommon as a non-Asian or European traveller to be invited to eat and drink. The local people are delighted when they have the chance to show off their touristic highlights.
- The highest point of the O Train journey is also the highest point on the Korail network and is 855 metres above sea level. At the top, the trains stop for taking photos and the plaque denoting the height is a very popular focus for photographers.
The Korean Tourist DMZ Train
This train runs directly from Seoul to Dorasan railway station, South Korea’s northernmost station. Previously, the trains ran from Dorosan to North Korea and although the connection has been severed, Dorosan station is permanently prepared to reopen the route. On reaching Dorosan people are surprised to discover how large this station is for just one line. DMZ is a de-militarised zone between North and South Korea and is 4 kilometres wide and 28 kilometres long. The frontier between the two countries runs through the Korean peninsula here.
Important information for travelling with the DMZ Train
- It is mandatory to take your passport with you when you travel on this train.
- On board passengers must complete a form (in Korean and English).
- At Imjinjgang station all passengers are required to leave the train. Here the passengers are counted and their travel documents inspected. Dorosan station itself is located in the DMZ zone.