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Retired Gyeongchun Line Gives Way to Pedal Bike Tourist Attraction Updated: 2012-08-13 12:00:00 KST

Retired Gyeongchun Line Gives Way to Pedal Bike Tourist Attraction
From the first steam locomotives in 1939 to the classic Mugunghwa passenger trains, the Gyeongchun Railway Line has a deep, romantic history filled with life-long memories and unforgettable stories for generations of Koreans.
Two years ago, the aging train tracks were retired, but they have since been re-opened as a rail bike tourist attraction.

The pedal bikes travel on old railway tracks, where visitors can leisurely enjoy peaceful rural areas filled with beautiful scenic views of waterways and mountains.
The route passes through 300-meter long dark tunnels and provides a unique vacation destination that's fun for the whole family.

[Interview : Shin Ga-hee, Seoul Tourist
] "The Han River is on my right and rocky cliffs on the left. It's very refreshing and the scenery is so nice."

For decades, the old Gyeongchun Line was very popular among Korean college freshmen because it marked the beginning of their student orientation trip - a cherished tradition and memorable rite of passage.
The rail path also brings peddlers past Gimyujeong Station, which is named after one of Korea's most famous literary writers who died in 1937.

The rail bikes run from near Chuncheon to half way to Gapyeong, with addtional stops along the North Han River planned for the future.

[Interview : Lee Yoon-hee, Manager
Gangchon Rail Park
] "Rail bikes are in place from Gimyujeong Station to Gangchon Station. It evokes a nostalgic atmosphere of the old line which I think would be great for tourism."

The rail bike attraction is welcomed by local towns.
They bring in an influx of tourists and give new purpose to abandoned train stations.

Though the new replacement underground subway line may be a tad faster, it can't match that sentimental feeling of riding the tracks.

Paul Yi, Arirang News
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