The South Korean government has announced further details of the high-speed railway which is being developed from Wonju in the west to Gangneung on the east coast, via PyeongChang. If PyeongChang is selected to host the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games the railway will be a fast, convenient means of transport for spectators, reducing the need to travel by car. There is an existing high-speed line connecting Wonju to Seoul. By 2013 the journey time from Seoul to PyeongChang by train will be under two hours.
The Ministry of Construction and Transportation announced that 71% (86km out of 120km) of the route will be through tunnels, resulting in a much shorter journey time. A 27km tunnel between PyeongChang and Gangneung is likely to be the longest rail tunnel in East Asia.
Kim Jin-sun, Governor of Gangwon Province and Executive President of PyeongChang 2014 Bid Committee said:
“By 2013 the high-speed railway will add a convenient new means of traveling to PyeongChang and Gangneung, in addition to Yangyang International Airport and the second Yeongdong expressway. Korean citizens and international visitors at the Games in PyeongChang would find it easy to travel around. We are confident that the new high-speed railway will bring major economic benefits to Gangwon Province in the years to come.”
A monitoring and oversight committee with representatives from all of the key stakeholders is being established to ensure that the construction remains on time and on budget.