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RailLog Korea to roll out the red carpet for expanded trans-Korean railway opportunities

2018. 8. 20

RailLog Korea, Asia’s leading business and networking platform for the railway industry, will be held in June 2019 in Busan, South Korea. The upcoming edition sees further growth potential, prompted by a reconciliation atmosphere in the Korean Peninsula and the trans-Korean railway reconnection.

The 9th edition of RailLog Korea, the international trade fair for the railway technology, infrastructure and logistics, will take place from 12 to 15 June 2019 at the Busan Exhibition & Convention Center – BEXCO, in Busan, South Korea. The fair has been held biennially since 2003, jointly organised by Messe Frankfurt Korea Ltd. and BEXCO, and hosted by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), Busan Metropolitan City, the Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) and the Korea Rail Network Authority (KR). 

With the successful inter-Korean summit in April 2018, the idea of restoring the disconnected cross-border traffic route is being discussed again and expectations for the trans-Korean and trans-Eurasian railway are now rising concomitantly. 

Once the connection is completed, the route from Europe to the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Trans-Korean Railway would become nearly 10,000 kilometers, which would be considered the longest train network in the world. 

Mr Yong-Joon Jin, Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt Korea Ltd., commented: “In these circumstances, reconnection of the trans-Korean railway means the show is important for inter-Korean economic cooperation. It is also a cornerstone for the trans-Eurasian railway network, which will generate lots of business opportunities.”

Although hurdles remain, local logistics companies are preparing for the potential of rail transport connecting the Korean Peninsula with China, Russia and other parts of Europe. According to the industry, cargo delivery from China to Europe via sea routes usually takes roughly 35 to 40 days. Using the Trans-China Railway, however, would cut that time span to around 17 days. Rail delivery is also more cost effective compared to air delivery, which is about five times as expensive.

In addition, by newly joining the Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD), an international body that overlooks railway operations in Eurasia, South Korea is now eligible to participate in operating railways stretching across Eurasia, including the Trans-China Railway and the Trans-Siberian Railway. 

Growing business in Korea’s railway market

South Korea’s central and local governments are promoting the construction and expansion of railways and subways, as eco-friendly alternatives to road transportation, aiming to create an era of ‘Green Transportation’. South Korea is seeking to invest more in the nation's rail transport sector over the next three years, to help it take up a greater share of the domestic freight transport. 

The rail transport development plan intends to adjust the portion of the railroad network to the domestic freight transport to 10 percent in 2021 from the current five percent. Furthermore, the government is planning to invest 130 billion won (US$121 million) from 2020 to 2026, to help boost national railway vehicle parts industry. 

2017 show review 

The previous edition of the fair, which was held in June 2017, attracted 18,470 visitors and 163 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions. Numerous global players participated in the fair, while Korea’s leading companies, such as Hyundai Rotem and Woojin Industrial System, exhibited their latest models of train vehicles at the fairground.

RailLog-Korea-2017_3700

Train vehicle models were exhibited at RailLog Korea 2017

RailLog Korea 2017 created a synergy effect by bringing key stakeholders together from various countries and regions, international organisations and private sectors in the railway industry. The first edition of the Global Smart Rail Conference (GSRC) which was organised by the Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, was attended by government officials around the world as well as CEOs and experts from diverse railway sectors. 

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