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Gyeongjeon line

The meaning of «gyeongjeon line»

The Gyeongjeon Line (Gyeongjeonseon) is a railway line serving South Gyeongsang and South Jeolla Provinces in South Korea. It covers a total of 300.6 km, from Samnangjin Station in Miryang, South Gyeongsang, to Gwangju Songjeong Station in Gwangju, South Jeolla.

An east-west railway along Korea's southern shore was long seen as a strategic route, but it took a number of attempts to complete the line.[1] The first section of the line was opened as a branch from the newly built Gyeongbu Line at Samnangjin to Masan in May 1905, which was named the Masan Line.[1] On December 1, 1923,[2] the Jinju Line opened from Masan to Jinju, extending the line to 110.2 km (68.5 mi).[1] A branch from Changwon on the Masan Line to Jinhae, the Jinhae Line, opened on November 11, 1926.[2]

Meanwhile, construction started in the opposite direction from Songjeong-ri (today Gwangju·Songjeong) on the Honam Line, the other end of the future Gyeongjeon Line, with the first 14.9 km (9.3 mi) to Gwangju opened in July 1922.[1] The 155.5 km (96.6 mi)[1] Gwangju Line was completed to Yeosu on December 25, 1930.[3] Six years later, on December 16, 1936, the Suncheon–Yeosu section became part of the newly established Jeolla Line,[2] leaving the 134.6 km (83.6 mi) long Songjeong-ri–Suncheon section as the Gwangju Line.[1]

Following the 1961 coup, the Supreme Council for National Reconstruction started South Korea's first five-year plan, which included a construction program to complete the railway network, to foster economic growth.[1] As part of the program, work began on a line to plug the gap between Jinju and Suncheon on April 28, 1962.[1] The difficult 80.5 km (50.0 mi) long section included 38 bridges with a total length of 1,697 m (5,568 ft) and 27 tunnels with a total length of 7.67 km (4.77 mi), as well as 13 new stations.[1] The Jinju–Suncheon line opened on February 7, 1968, when the whole 325.2 km (202.1 mi) railway line from Samnangjin to Songjeong-ri was renamed the Gyeongjeon Line.[1] By the mid-2000s, alignment modifications shortened the line length to 300.6 km (186.8 mi).[1]

The line is being upgraded to an electrified and double-tracked line for 180 km/h in stages, to facilitate regional development.[4][5] On September 1, 2010, the South Korean government announced a strategic plan to reduce travel times from Seoul to 95% of the country to under 2 hours by 2020. As part of the plan, the entire Gyeongjeon Line is to be further upgraded for 230 km/h.[6]

The upgraded section will be 101.4 km long.[7] The 41 km section until Masan includes a re-alignment with tunnels[8] closer to Changwon,[9] the Masan–Jinju section also includes significant re-alignments along the way.[7][10]

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