The fate of Incheon’s monorail, Wolmi Eunha Rail, lies in the hands of the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) after a disastrous history since the line’s initial “completion” in 2009. According to this article from DongA News and several others, the KRRI will be investigating the safety of the line to decide whether it can be fixed and used, or whether the line will be altered and used a different way.
The article goes on to say that whatever the final result, the possibility of removing the entire project all together is not being looked at. All up, the project has cost 85.3 billion won and removing all structures would require another 30 billion won. This is a different tone from previous years, when some were calling for the entire line to be scrapped.
Apparently other alternatives are being investigated in case operating the monorail is no longer an option. Two of these are the possibility of rail bikes or a skyline walking track. One overseas project that springs to mind is the New York High Line, which has made use of abandoned tracks to create green areas in the city. However, since Wolmido offers nice views of the sea, rail biking could also prove a great alternative if the monorail doesn’t get the green light.
Wolmi Eunha Rail, which didn’t even have the chance to begin commercial operations, has been plagued with several accidents that led to delays and doubts about the safety of the line. The latest result of an investigation in January 2013 was that the line was unsafe for a monorail, with durability tests showing cracks in 3 out of 5 wheels. Other dangers included risk of electric shock due to bad connections between the vehicle and rails, and that it would fail financially.
Read more about the history of Wolmi Eunha Rail in our previous post and see the monorail in action in the video below, as you may not get to see it again!