I realized there is a lack of information on the site as to how you can purchase the tickets online or offline and how to best plan the route if you would like to take both trains plus return to Seoul on the same day. So here's a simple post on how I purchased my tickets on the spot and the mistake I made(and you can avoid if you read this post), but thanks to 2 lovely Korean ladies I still managed to board these trains! :)
To start off, there are 2 options for you to purchase the tickets. You can do it online via KORAIL's website for a one-day pass(which I think is more worth it if you're taking both O&V Train), do note that this is in Korean only, the English site only does reservation for KR Pass which I think is different as the price differs quite abit. I bought mine on the spot, the day I arrived at Seoul for 38,300won for youths and 54,700won for adults. If you're there for a longer stay like me, you can buy it on the spot, otherwise reserve your pass online with help from a Korean friend as the train passes sell fast on peak seasons like April-Spring, October-Autumn and January-Winter.
*13/10/2014 Update: O & V Train passes are not available to be reserved online, you can only buy them separately so best to head down to Seoul Station to get the passes! You can also contact KORAIL at +82-1599-7777 for more information.
*Please double check your passes that the right date is printed, my mum's pass was printed wrongly and we had to make an extra trip to get it changed.
1. Reserve your passes online via KORAIL website or visit Tickets counters at Seoul Station
2. Double check the passes and ensure the correct details and date is printed
3. Proceed to Information Counter to plan your route
4. Arrive early on the day of travel to board the train at Seoul station and take note of the train timings
5. Enjoy your trip and take lots of pictures!
I hope this post will be useful to planning on taking these trains soon! :)
Moving on, I will share my experience and some pictures from my trip on O Train & V Train! As I mentioned earlier, I didn't know that you have to get the seating arrangements from a separate counter as I had trouble communicating with the staffs at ticketing counter in English and there is hardly any information online as to how it should be done. They only understand very basic English and during the process of changing the pass for my mum due to an error the previous staff made, the staff serving us mumbled to herself in Korean that she's going crazy from doing this :/ I understand certain Korean words and she was really annoyed while helping us so I'm pretty sure I heard her correctly. Lol.
So on the day we were supposed to board the train, I forgot that there was only one O Train leaving Seoul at 7.45am and we arrived just 5 minutes late; the trains in Korea are punctual so obviously we missed the train. Thankfully there was a really helpful Korean staff who understand English pretty well, led us to the information counter where she discussed with her colleague for an alternative solution to this. Her colleague then helped to plan the route and we took another connecting train to Cheoram station where we board the V Train first before going down to Buncheon station to take the O Train back to Seoul. I'm so glad we bought the one-day pass instead of separate O & V Train tickets as the pass can be used to take any connecting trains on the same day so we took more trains which was pretty fun too.
It was a Friday when we took this train and I was surprised to find it empty except for 2 other couples and a young lady traveling on her own. It felt like we booked the whole train! V Train is designed with a large portion of the train walls as glass windows which can be opened to enjoy the fresh air and cooling breeze as the train moves down the tracks.
For this ride, I didn't managed to take any pictures of the scenery as it was getting dark and the train didn't make a 10 minute stop at Chujeon station as promised so I didn't get to see the beautiful scenery from Korea's highest train station. What a waste. Anyway, I find the train ride to be a tad too long and boring, I should have brought along something to read because it wasn't that comfortable to sleep too.