President Yoon Suk Yeol has pledged to enhance transportation accessibility in North Chungcheong Province, saying “robust transportation is indispensable to foster a livable province” at the groundbreaking ceremony of a double-track high-speed railway connecting Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi Province and Osong in North Chungcheong Province, on Wednesday.
The double-track high-speed railway project is aimed at constructing 46.9 new kilometers of underground high-speed railway connecting Pyeongtaek and Osong, alleviating significant congestion on existing high-speed rail routes. The railway is scheduled to open in 2028 with an investment of about 3.2 trillion won ($2.5 billion) over five years.
Despite high transportation demand, the project faced initial rejection during the government's preliminary feasibility study, only gaining approval after being designated as part of the balanced national development initiative in 2019.
Upon its anticipated opening in 2028, the railway will facilitate the operation of new high-speed trains in Incheon to the west of Seoul, Suwon in Gyeonggi Province and Geoje, South Gyeongsang Province, enabling convenient access for passengers to ride the high-speed train at their preferred time.
“Starting with this project, we aim to double the operation of high-speed trains and extend the nationwide coverage of the two-hour travel zone,” Yoon said in a speech at the ceremony.
Yoon also pledged to actively advocate for the establishment of a metropolitan railway connecting the central-west region of South Korea, Daejeon, the administrative capital Sejong and North Chungcheong Province, with plans for the route to pass through downtown Cheongju in North Chungcheong Province.
“The creation of a new transportation axis from Cheongju-Osong-Sejong-Daejeon will enable enhanced convenience in utilizing the airport and high-speed rail through a subway system,” Yoon said.
The president also disclosed his intentions to establish a railroad cluster and K-Bio Square in North Chungcheong Province, aiming to transform the region into the focal point of the national high-tech industry.