A leisure train operated by Korail runs along the shoreline
By Lee Hyo-sik
Korail, the state-run railroad operator, has been offering a wide range of train travel packages for both Korean and non-Korean tourists to boost the number of its passengers and revitalize the local tourism industry.
It has been operating sightseeing trains running along the shoreline in the country's eastern and southern coasts, as well as music trains where travelers enjoy live music performances.
To further promote trains as a popular means of leisure travel, the railway operator has launched a new package for movie fans seeking to visit famous tourism destinations in Seoul, Busan and the demilitarized zone (DMZ).
The Rail-Cine travel package includes a roundtrip KTX ticket between Seoul and Busan, admission to the KTX cinema and tours in Seoul and Busan, or the DMZ. A package for those choosing a one-day trip between Seoul and Busan with a city tour starts from 97,000 won. The DMZ tour package is priced at 119,000 won.
''Travelers can watch the latest movie for two hours while on our bullet train en route to Busan from Seoul, or vice versa. Those departing from Seoul will tour Korea's largest port city, while those coming from Busan can look around the capital city,'' said Yoo Jae-young, the head of Korail's passenger transport division. ''The KTX cinema is equipped with a 57-inch-wide screen, two digital projects and 15 speakers, enabling customers to watch a film as in a real movie theater.''
Yoo expects the Rail-Cine package will provide a boost to the domestic tourism sector.
For more information on the Rail-Cine train that runs daily, visit the Korail website at (www.korail.com) or call Seoul Station (02-3149-3333) or Busan Station (051-440-2517).
The railroad operator also offers train services for residents in Seoul and its surrounding area who want to tour small sea ports and other tourism sports along the west coast in Incheon.
In June, it completed expanding the Sooin Line, which runs through Incheon and nearby smaller cities, into a double track, making it possible for more subway trains to run. Destinations include Sorae Port, Weolgot Port, Oido Port, an ecotourism park, a museum and other spots.
At the ports, travelers can buy fresh seafood at transitional markets and enjoy a variety of seafood-based dishes at restaurants. The 3-hour courses start from Woelgot subway station, or Sorae station, Yeonsoo station and Songdo station.
''Not only on the Sooin Line, but also other subway lines in the metropolitan area take citizens to tourism spots at lower costs and in a convenient manner. All they have to do is to simply get onto the subway and go to wherever they want to. We will continue to introduce more attractive train tour programs for budget travelers,'' Yoo said.
In a bid to promote travel by train, Korail recently selected top 20 destinations accessible by railways. A coastal line connecting Gangneung and Samcheok in Gangwon Province topped the list, followed by a coastal train along the southern coast.
For more information, visit Korail's tour community website (www.railstory.net).