South Korea yesterday officially opened a railway linking its main international airport at Incheon to central Seoul, almost 10 years after the airport itself began operations.
The 58-km line linking Seoul station and the airport will start taking passengers from Wednesday, the transport ministry said.
Work on the 4.2-trillion-won ($A3.6 billion) project began in April 2001, a month after the airport opened.
Advertisement: Story continues below
The first section between Incheon airport and Gimpo airport on the western outskirts of Seoul was completed in March 2007.
The 20.7-km section between Gimpo and Seoul station was formally opened Tuesday after a tape-cutting ceremony chaired by Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik.
Express trains will take 43 minutes and charge 13,300 won (about $A12) while normal ones will take 10 minutes longer for a fare of 3700 won.
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 station.
A transport ministry official said delays to the airport railway were mainly due to budget problems, with more money than expected needed for tunnels or buying land.
The ministry plans to connect bullet trains with the airport railway by the end of 2012 so that passengers can travel from the southern port of Busan to Incheon airport in two hours and 40 minutes.
Incheon, which replaced Gimpo as the country's main airport, has won several international awards. The Airports Council International has named the airport the world's best in the Airport Service Quality awards for five years in a row.