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Lee Celebrates Groundbreaking for High-Speed Rail Link to PyeongChang
제목 없음 President Lee Myung-bak on Friday celebrated the groundbreaking for a high-speed railway running past the 2018 Winter Olympics host city of PyeongChang and to the northeastern coast, saying it is a key facility for the Games and will boost regional tourism.

The new 120-kilometer tracks are designed for a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour, and expected to cut travel time between Seoul and the eastern coastal city of Gangneung by nearly five and a half hours to about one hour.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2017 before the 2018 Games.

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.

That means foreign athletes and visitors to the PyeongChang Games can travel conveniently aboard KTX high-speed trains from Incheon International Airport to the Olympic venue without having to transfer trains, 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 a 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," he said.

Lee said 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 (US$6.8 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," 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."

Source Text

Source: Yonhap News (June 1, 2012)