It’s almost the end of the year already! Living away from Korea and having a fairly busy job has kept me from blogging. Thanks so much to my co-blogger Nikola for helping to keep Kojects alive despite being busy with this own work.
Nevertheless I’m still keeping my eye on developments – particularly on rail projects – and to be honest it has been fairly quiet with not too many major happenings in the last two years. (Still waiting on that Maglev to open!)
One major change coming up very soon is the final connection between the Gyeongui Line (경의선) and the Jungang Line (중앙선). From 27 December 2014 a section of track between Gongdeok Station (공덕역) and Yongsan Station (용산역) will open — finally connecting the two lines.
With the direct connection in place, the two services will now operate as one. This means you’ll be able to travel from Munsan Station (문산역) near the DMZ all the way down to Yongmun Station (용문역) in the south-eastern area of Gyeonggi Province. The new service will cut up to 30 minutes off a trip between these two stations – though I imagine this is a journey that not many would regularly make!
The real bonus will be for those commuters travelling from Paju and Ilsan areas to eastern areas of Seoul including Gangnam as it gives easier access to transfer points at places such as Ichon (Line 4), Oksu (Line 3) and Wangsimni (Lines 2, 5 and the Bundang Line). Likewise, commuters travelling from eastern Gyeonggi areas such as Guri will also have better access to stations in the north-east of Seoul.
This final connection was supposed to made earlier but due to problems with purchasing land and compensation for residents, construction was delayed. In September 2011 KORAIL decided to open the Gyeongui Line extension from the DMC to Gongdeok first and this was completed in 2012.
The lines look as though they will be keeping their two separate names for now but it will be interesting to see if this changes in future. The line is now called the Gyeonguijungang Line(경의중앙선). Here is map of the lines connected. If you can’t read Korean then check out the updated maps which are now appearing in subway cars around Seoul.
Note that another station, Hyochang (효창역) will also open next year some time on the new 2.5km of track between Gongdeok and Yongsan.