Another light rail line has been given the go ahead, with Seoul announcing the signing of a contract with NamSeoul Light Rail on August 12 to begin work on the Sillim Line in the south west of Seoul. Construction on the new line is expected to get underway at the end of 2015 and should take about 60 months, ending in 2020.
The Sillim Line starts off at Saetgang Station in Yeouido and travels south, ending just in front of Seoul National University in Gwanak-gu. The 7.8km long line has 11 stations (see map below) in total, including four transfer stations: Saetgang – Line 9, Daebang – Line 1, Boramae – Line 7 and Sillim – Line 2. According to the press release by the city, travel time from Yeouido to Seoul National University will be reduced from 40 minutes to just 16 minutes.
In my opinion the Sillim Line will provide a much needed connection between the metro lines running across the south west of Seoul and is likely to take pressure off bus services serving the area. Passing through densely populated areas and with a direct connection to Korea’s most prestigious university, the line shouldn’t have any problem attracting passengers. It’s unfortunate that the line doesn’t link up with Line 5 as the first station is very close to it but it’s likely that this wasn’t logistically possible. Looking even further ahead, it’s a shame there also aren’t plans to connect it to another new route – the SinAnsan Line. We’ll have more on this other new line in a future post.
The Shillim Line will be located completely underground and cost 560 billion won. 38% and 12% of the cost will come from the city and national government respectively, the remainder coming from NamSeoul Light Rail which will be operating the line under a build–operate–transfer scheme. According to FRDB the the line will use K-AGT (Korean Automated Guideway Transit), the same light rail technology used for Busan’s Line 4 and will have 3 three cars per each train, with a total of 12 trains.
While the Sillim Line is still around 5 years away, it’s great to see another project going forward and further expansion of the Seoul metro network.