Two bullet trains grind to a halt in three days

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Two bullet trains grind to a halt in three days

A KTX bullet train heading from Busan to Seoul stopped inside Hwanghak Tunnel in Gimcheon, North Gyeongsang, at around 11 a.m., yesterday, and is the second high-speed train in a week to experience a malfunction.

According to Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) officials, the motor on train No. 120 malfunctioned, causing the train to stop. None of the 400 passengers were hurt.

The train was fixed after about an hour and continued to Seoul.

Other trains from Busan bound for Seoul were delayed more than one hour.

A Korail official said the KTX train left Busan at 9:40 a.m. and suddenly began to slow down when the motor malfunctioned inside the tunnel. During the hour-long wait, passengers had to endure excessive heat inside the train because the air conditioners weren’t operational with the engine down.

The high temperature in Gimcheon yesterday was 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).

“They only notified us that the train was stopped due to a technical defect,” one passenger said. “There were no further announcements about the progress fixing the train. All we could do was just wait inside.”

Korail officials said the train will be inspected at a repair base in Seoul Station in order to find the exact technical problem.

Two days earlier, a KTX-Sancheon train was forced to stop in Miryang, South Gyeongsang, after smoke started to rise from the back of the train. The KTX-Sancheon, the first locally made bullet train, came to an abrupt halt Friday morning on its way to Masan on the south coast. About 180 passengers had to transfer to another train to finish their trips.

Hwanghak Tunnel, the second-longest train tunnel in the KTX network at nearly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) long, connects Gimcheon and Yeongdong, North Chungcheong.


By Hong Gweon-sam, Kwon Sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr]

한글 관련 기사 [중앙일보]
KTX 또 고장
김천 황학터널서 모터 이상
승객 400여 명 1시간 갇혀

KTX 열차가 또 고장 나 승객들이 터널 안에 한 시간가량 갇히는 사고가 발생했다. 17일 코레일에 따르면 이날 오전 11시쯤 경북 김천시 황학터널 안에서 부산을 출발해 서울로 가던 KTX 120호 열차가 갑자기 멈춰 섰다. 열차는 긴급수리 끝에 한 시간여 뒤인 낮 12시3분 서울로 출발했다. 열차에는 승객 400여 명이 타고 있었다. 승객들은 “갑자기 열차가 선 뒤 ‘모터에 이상이 생겨 정차했다’는 안내방송만 나왔을 뿐 다른 조치 없이 터널에 갇혀 있었다”며 “터널 속이어서 큰 사고로 이어지지 않을까 불안했다”고 말했다.

 사고가 나자 코레일은 긴급복구반을 투입해 모터 등 구동장치를 정비한 뒤 운행을 재개했다. 그러나 이 열차를 고치는 동안 다른 열차들이 부산 방향 선로로만 운행하느라 20분∼1시간 지연됐다. 앞서 이 열차는 부산∼동대구를 서행하면서 예정보다 14분 늦게 동대구역에 도착해 이전부터 문제가 생긴 것 아니냐는 지적이 나오고 있다.

 코레일 관계자는 “모터 등 구동장치에 이상이 생긴 것으로 추정할 뿐 정확한 고장 원인은 정밀조사 후 발표하겠다”고 말했다.

 황학터널은 경북 김천과 충북 영동을 잇는 터널(길이 9.975㎞)로 경부고속철도 가운데 부산 금정터널(20.3㎞)에 이어 두 번째로 길다.

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