All Aboard South Korea's New $100 Billion Baby-Making Trains

Photo: Pool / Pool (Getty Images)
Photo: Pool / Pool (Getty Images)

Korea’s auto industry is currently killing it, but its baby-birthing industry may as well be dead. The East Asian country has the lowest fertility rate in the world, which isn’t great long-term. Don’t worry, though, Reuters reports that Korean officials have the perfect solution for getting those childless young folks to start cranking out babies — a new train service.

And, you know, we get it. There really isn’t anything sexier than being on a train. Not only is it hot to support public transportation, but also, come on. Long train? Dark tunnel? How can anyone possibly ride a train without thinking of having unprotected sex? Apologies to all the cyclists out there, but trains are literally the horniest form of transportation.

Apparently, though, Korean officials don’t want young people to actually go heels-to-Jesus on the trains themselves. Instead, the high-speed rail service is designed to address the biggest issues that Koreans say are stopping them from starting families such as long commutes and the housing situation in Seoul, which often requires paying a lot of money for an apartment that’s too small to raise a family in.


So far, government subsidies haven’t been very effective at getting Koreans to have more kids, so the idea is to build six new lines for underground speed trains that will make it faster and more convenient for people who work in Seoul to live in less expensive areas further out from the city. Then, once those workers realize they have all that extra space and more time for themselves, they’ll decide it’s time to start making babies.

Once the $99.5 billion project is completed, the estimates for how much it will reduce commute times are pretty significant. While the bus ride to Dongtan currently takes about 80 minutes, the train is expected to bring that commute down to less than 20 minutes.

Incidentally, the U.S. also has a declining birth rate. Maybe Uncle Sam should take a page out of Korea’s book and start building trains, too. You know, for the babies. Give us more trains, and we’ll make so many babies. And that’s a Jalopnik guarantee you can take to the bank.

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