South Korean President launches high-speed railway from Seoul to Pyeongchang

Status
Not open for further replies.

NY Yankee

On Moderation
Joined
26 Mar 2012
Messages
487
Location
New York City
Friday, 01 June 2012

By Duncan Mackay

June 1 - South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak today celebrated the groundbreaking for a controversial high-speed railway designed to make it easier to travel to Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The new 120-kilometre tracks are designed for a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour, and expected to cut travel time between Seoul and the eastern coastal city of Gangneung.

The new lines will link the central city of Wonju, about 90 kilometers southeast of Seoul, to Gangneung via Pyeongchang, and will be connected to existing railways running past Seoul to the western city of Incheon, where South Korea's main gateway airport is located.

After being awarded the Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), South Korean Government were forced to deny claims that they had promised to build a direct bullet train between Incheon and Pyeongchang that would cut travelling time to just 68 minutes.

But the new railway, which is due to completed in 2017, means visitors can travel aboard KTX high-speed trains from Incheon International Airport to Pyeongchang without having to transfer trains on special direct services, officials said.

"The Wonju-Gangneung railway is a core transportation route of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and a core infrastructure that will determine the success of the Olympics," Lee said during the groundbreaking ceremony held at the railway station in Gangneung.

"Athletes and tourists arriving from around the world can get from Incheon International Airport to the Olympic Stadium in just one-and-a-half hours on special trains."

Lee claimed the railway will also greatly boost tourism in Gangwon Province and its construction is expected to create some 20,000 jobs in the province alone, and some 44,000 jobs nationwide, and yield economic effects worth a total of 8 trillion won (£4.4 billion/$6.8 billion/€5.5 billion).

"By the time of 2018, we are expected to fully join the ranks of advanced nations with our per capita national income exceeding $30,000 (£20,000/€24,000)," Lee said.

"The 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics will be a sports festival declaring the Republic of Korea is not only an economic power, but also a truly advanced nation with sports and cultural capabilities."

Among the dignitaries who attended the ceremony were Jin Sun Kim, the President and chief executive of Pyeongchang 2018, and Moon Soon Choi, the Governor of Gangwon Province.

"We have taken the first significant step to fulfilling our bid commitment of efficient and effortless travel to Pyeongchang," said Kim.

"We sincerely thank the Government and the Korean people for their unwavering support."

Contact the writer of this story at [email protected]

http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/winter-olympics/2018/17144-south-korean-president-launches-high-speed-railway-from-seoul-to-pyeongchang

I know that by now, people are tired of talking about the Olympics. Nevertheless, this shows that the Olympics can improve the infrastructure of a country.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

ng1980

Member
Joined
4 Nov 2011
Messages
81
Friday, 01 June 2012

By Duncan Mackay

June 1 - South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak today celebrated the groundbreaking for a controversial high-speed railway designed to make it easier to travel to Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.



http://www.insidethegames.biz/olympics/winter-olympics/2018/17144-south-korean-president-launches-high-speed-railway-from-seoul-to-pyeongchang

I know that by now, people are tired of talking about the Olympics. Nevertheless, this shows that the Olympics can improve the infrastructure of a country.

Thank you for posting this. Here is some background information, for those not very familiar with the geography of Korea:

In my opinion, this is very good news. The province of Gangwon-do is relatively close to the capital city, Seoul, just to the east of the province Gyeonggi-do, which surrounds Seoul.

Gangwon-do has always been a very popular destination for leisure activities for three main reasons:
* Gangwon-do has some of the country's most famous mountains for hiking (hiking is very popular in South Korea).
* The east coast is considered to have better beaches and a cleaner sea than the west coast, but is significantly closer to Seoul than the south coast, which is also considered to be very pleasant.
* There are many more ski resorts in Gangwon-do than any other province, because of the mountains, the proximity to Seoul, and the colder weather (ie "better snow") than provinces further south.

The popular "valley and lake" city of Chuncheon, in the far west of Gangwon-do has always had a good link from Seoul, due to the proximity being "just inside" Gangwon-do. However, this is the end of this railway line.

However, traditionally in Korea rail and motorways (called "expressways" here) traditionally run in a roughly north-south direction. This is largely because Korea is quite a mountainous country, which the vast majority of the mountain ranges lying in a north-south direction. Additionally, the major cities of South Korea (Incheon - Seoul - Daejeon - Daegu - Ulsan - Busan) lie in a rough line northwest-southeast (except Gwangju).

If you look at an up-to-date road map of South Korea, you will find a comprehensive motorways running not only north-south, but also east-west. However, if you compare that with a road map of just ten years ago, you will see that almost all of the east-west motorways are new, while north-south motorways have been well-established.

Looking at the Korean rail map, you can see that most railways also run in a roughly north-south direction (the line from Boseong to Masan in the far south of the peninsula, where the land is less mountainous is the most notable exception).

The provincial capital of Gangwon-do is Wonju, situated in the south west of the province. This has always benefited from the roughly north-south railway line from Seoul to Andong, Gyeongju and Busan. However, when Korea introduced express ("KTX - Korea Train Express") services, these did not follow on the line through Wonju and KTX did not touch anywhere near Gangwon-do.

Although there is a line up the east coast of Gangwon-do to the coastal city of Gangneung, this railway line was a roughly north-south line benefitting travel between Gangwon-do and the southern provinces.

As a result, there is no effective railway line connecting the capital Seoul with the ski resorts of Gangwon-do or the coastal cities of Gangwon-do, forcing would-be travellers to use roads (car or coach).

The new line from Seoul to Gangneung will be useful for hikers, skiiers and beach-goers as well as Olympic teams and spectators.
 

Attachments

  • Rail map - Korea.jpg
    Rail map - Korea.jpg
    69.9 KB · Views: 12
  • Rail map - Korea - labelled.jpg
    Rail map - Korea - labelled.jpg
    99.5 KB · Views: 11

ng1980

Member
Joined
4 Nov 2011
Messages
81
Lots of extra track for people to kill themselves on :|

(according to wikipedia suicide is the highest cause of death in people under 40 and the second highest rate in the world)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_South_Korea

You are right that Korea has a very high suicide rate, and this is well documented in the Korean media and press, and has been acknowledged as a concern from consecutive South Korean governments. I hope that over time, this figure will improve.

However, and I fully admit that I have no solid evidence to back up this anecdotal evidence, it seems as if using the railway to commit suicide in Korea is less common than in the UK.

As you travel the world, you will find many different ways of doing things in different countries, and suicide appears to be one of them.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top