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Closed sections of Jungang Line to become cultural trails

Closed sections of Jungang Line to become cultural trails

Posted November. 11, 2017 07:53,   

Updated November. 11, 2017 08:18


The 245-kilometer section of the Jungang Line, which will be closed in 2019 according to an ongoing project to replace existing railways with double tracks, will be converted into trekking courses and historical and cultural trails.

The Korea Rail Network Authority announced Friday that it notified on Thursday local governments of the measures to make use of railway sites that are planned to be closed. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and the Korea Rail Network Authority are currently on a project aimed at improving its existing rail tracks and changing routes for the 245-kilometer section of the Jungang Line that connects Wonju of Gangwon Province and Gyeongju of North Gyeongsang Province. This will create the 4.77 million-square-meter vacant space near closed tracks by 2021.

According to the plan, the closed tracks will be divided largely into three zones, each of which will have different themes: “Leisure and experience” for a zone from Wonju City to Danyang County, North Chungcheong Province; “Rest and tourism” for a section from Yeongju City, North Gyeongsang Province to Gunwi County in the same province; “History and culture” for a zone that connects Yeongcheon City and Gyeongju City in North Gyeongsang Province. The railroad construction and management company suggested that local governments and private businesses join forces to come up with their own development plans that may include trekking courses, train-car-turned-pensions and trails that let visitors look into and explore nearby heritages.

“Until today, closed tracks have not reflected regional characteristics when reformed,” said Kim Gye-ung, head of Railway Facilities Management Division at the Korea Rail Network Authority. “We will come up with post-closure plans for other tracks including Donghae Nambu Line and Janghang Line in advance so that they can contribute to the creation of jobs and improvement in the lives of residents in local communities.”

Ho-Sung Cheon thousand@donga.com