South Korea to open airport railway next month

A railway linking South Korea's main international airport and Seoul city centre will open next month, cutting the journey time to 43 minutes, the transport ministry said Thursday.

The entire 58-km (36 mile) railway linking Incheon airport to Seoul station will open on December 29 after a second section was completed, it said.

Work on the project began in April 2001 and the first section between Incheon and Gimpo airport on the western outskirts of Seoul was opened in March 2007.

Express trains will take 43 minutes and charge 13,300 won (12 dollars) while normal ones will take 10 minutes longer for a fare of 5,300 won, the ministry said.

The route is currently served by airport buses, which take at least one hour and charge around 15,000 won.

Railway passengers will be able to check in and deposit luggage at a terminal on the second floor of Seoul railway station.

Incheon opened in 2001, replacing Gimpo as the country's main airport, and has won several international awards.