Dozens of rush hour KTX trains interruptedTwenty-seven KTX trains were delayed or canceled during rush hour on Tuesday due to a maintenance problem, stranding travelers in darkness for hours.
The delay first occurred when the KTX 414 train traveling from Jinju to Seoul was delayed for two hours after the railway’s electricity supply was cut off near Osong Station in North Chungcheong.
Thirteen trains heading to Seoul were delayed or canceled after the incident. The Korea Railroad Corporation (Korail) rerouted trains scheduled to depart from Seoul and switched them to travel to Seoul in an attempt to ease the traffic. Due to the sudden shortage of departing trains, a total of 14 trains leaving Seoul were canceled or delayed.
“I remember just sitting in the train waiting for it to move. Finally, [the conductor] asked all the passengers to get off,” said a passenger who was waiting at Gwangmyeong Station in Gyeonggi for a train to Daejeon. “No one gave us any specific directions on what transportation methods we needed to use to get to the places we needed to go to.”
The electrical problem occurred around 5 p.m. and was solved at 6:54 p.m. This was too late for many KTX commuters, who were left inconvenienced.
Korail has yet to announce a clear compensation policy for passengers who experienced delays.
Confusion also reigned over the cause of the incident. On Tuesday, Korail originally explained that the accident was caused by a foreign object that flew into the circuits of the railway. However, Korail announced on Wednesday that the accident was related to ongoing overpass construction near Osong Station that was supervised by the North Chungcheong provincial government.
According to Korail, on the morning of the accident, overpass construction workers worked with the Korea Rail Network Authority to change the messenger wires on the railway tracks into insulator wires.
It is suspected that one of the wires broke away the others, causing the electrical problem.
Korail said that it would propose a law that requires all construction projects that affect railways to be supervised by Korail or Korea Rail Network Authority to prevent a similar accident in the future.
BY LEE MIN-JUNG, JEONG JU-WON [firstname.lastname@example.org]
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