Alpensia Project South Korea Winter Olympics
More than $1.4 billion was spent preparing Pyeongchang for unsuccessful bids for the 2010 and 2014 winter games. Seven venues were built, and two of them -- for curling and snowboarding -- need upgrades for the 2018 Olympics.
The centerpiece of the forthcoming plan is a 113-kilometer train connecting Wonju with Pyeongchang and Gangneung. The existing railroad bypasses Pyeongchang, so travelers from Seoul must get off at Wonju and take a bus the rest of the way.
That journey takes about two hours. The new train, which can travel at speeds up to 250 kilometers per hour, will cut that to 68 minutes, according to the IOC’s bid assessment.
Going to Gangneung will take another 12 minutes. Construction could start later this year, with completion scheduled for 2017.
“This rail line is absolutely necessary for the games,” said Lim Jong Il, deputy director of the high-speed rail division at the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs. “The new Wonju-Gangneung railway can act as a catalyst to expedite the national rail-line projects.”
South Korea has embarked on an 88 trillion-won plan this decade to extend passenger and cargo networks by 39 percent to 4,934 kilometers. About 16 trillion won is for high-speed trains, including the Olympic line and another linking Seoul with Mokpo to the south.
Existing service between Incheon Airport and Seoul will be upgraded so Olympic visitors can take one high-speed train all the way from the airport to the venues.
The government plans to move about 27 percent of the population by trains by 2020, compared with 16 percent now. The percentage of cargo moving by rail would increase to about 19 percent from the current 8 percent.
“Korea needs to build up its rail network because it will help to move not only people but cargo faster and more efficiently,” said Heu Moon Wook, an analyst at KB Investment & Securities Co. in Seoul. “Construction companies will play a big role because they will not only have to lay down the tracks but they will have to build bridges and make tunnels to go through mountainous areas.”
- Site Size: 1,216 acres
- Architect EDAW/Gensler. The planning goal is to provide visitors and customers with world class vacation homes along the prime fairways. The 400 high-end residential units to be developed along the 27 holes course designed by Robert Trent Jones and manged by Troon Golf. Alpensia will feature a hotel and golf country club.