Recently the Korail website has made Happy Passes, Korail Passes and Package trips quite accessible. While it is easier, it is a bit confusing and I was weary what is actually cheaper.  There are several options that I have listed the Korail train prices as listed by both their Korean and English websites.  While there was a dispute two years ago whether the Korean and English sites were different, the seat costs do not differ. However, the Korean website offers different discounts.  If you have the Gold or Ruby Membership card (which is 10,000KRW) then you can currently purchase a ticket with a 10% discount.  http://www.korail.com/2009/htm/htm41000/w_htm41110.jsp

UPDATE (November 9th, 2011):  Apparently if you are under 25 years of age you qualify for the “child” rate.  I guess this covers all college aged students.

1. KR Passes (those with a foreign passport can purchase the KR pass if they have been in Korea for less than 6 months, can ride any train with unlimited access during most times)

KR Passes Avail for foreigners in Korea <6 months
adult child group rates of 2 +
1 day use 58,200 29,100 52,400 46,600
3 days use 84,600 42,300 76,100 67,700
5 days use 127,000 63,500 114,300 101,600
7 days use 160,400 80,200 144,400 128,300
10 days use 185,100 92,500 166,600 148,100

2. Happy Rail Pass (those with a  foreign passport can purchase the Happy Rail pass, available to those foreigners who have been in Korea longer than 6 months with the same accessibility to all trains with unlimited access during most times)

     Happy Rail Passes Avail for foreigners in Korea > 6 months
ADULT CHILD 2~5 People Age: 13~25
2 days use 87,000 43,500 78,300 69,600
3 days use 102,700 51,300 92,400 82,200
5 days use 179,900 89,900 161,900 143,900

3. Basic Fare Rates on Weekends and Weekdays

Because not all train transportation is created equal I thought I would put the pricing of the train tickets here:

KTX fastest train (roughly takes 2.5 hours to get from Seoul-Busan, which by bus would take around 5 hours)

Saemaul  is a moderately fast train.

Mungunghwa will take about 5 hours, according to other websites.

Korail Train Fares Schedule
*Based on weekend rates (Fri-Sun)
1st Class Economy Class Standing/Not
  Assigned
Adult  Child Adult  Child Adult Child
KTX 
77,000 49,900 55,500 27,700 52,700 26,300
Saemaul
47,300 26,700 41,100 20,500 n/a n/a
Mugunghwa
n/a n/a 27,700 13,800 20,100 10,000
*Based
  on weekday rates
(Mon-Thurs)
1st Class Economy Class Standing/Not
  Assigned
Adult  Child Adult  Child Adult Child
KTX
72,500 46,600 51,800 25,900 49,200 24,600
Saemaul
25,200 25,500 39,300 19,600 n/a n/a
Mugunghwa
n/a n/a 26,500 13,200 19,200 9,600
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