In 2017 Ricardo was asked to support the final stages of a new high-speed line commissioned by the South Korean government to support the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang.
The $3.5bn Gangneung KTX line provides a coast-to-coast link across the north of the country, extending from Incheon airport on the north-west coast to the north-east port city of Gangneung.
The new line was a key infrastructure commitment of South Korea’s winning bid to host the Games, creating a new 60-minute rail connection between Seoul and the Olympic venues around Pyeongchang, compared to 2.5-hour journeys by road.
Ricardo performed the Independent Safety Assessment (ISA) work for the Automatic Train Protection system on a 60km section of track between Pyeongchang and Gangneung, ensuring the signalling technology was fully compliant with technical standards.
Ricardo’s Seoul-based team verified the quality management systems throughout the design, manufacture, installation, testing and commission of the Automatic Train Protection (ATP) system, confirming recognised international technical standards had been met via a series of on-site audits and in-depth document reviews. The team completed the assessment within a tight timescale, ensuring the line entered into service on schedule in December 2017.
Since the conclusion of the Paralympic Games in March 2018 the line has continued to provide a mix of high speed and conventional services between the country’s capital and north-eastern regions.
Concurrent with the construction of the Gangneung Line, the team also provided similar safety assessment services for the installation of the ATP system on the Sinwon-Seowonju section of the Jungang Line upgrade – another project initiated in anticipation of the Games to improve both speed and capacity on this key cross-country route from Seoul to the country's south-west.