In August, plans for a huge underground transfer center in Gangnam between Samseong Station (Line 2) and Bongeunsa Station (Line 9) were unveiled by Seoul.
Located next to the busy COEX mall, the COEX Transfer Center will be no small project and involves stations for multiple modes of transport being built over the top of each other in the center of one of Seoul’s busiest areas. Preliminary designs outline the following plans for the five floors underground.
- B1 – Mall connected to both Lines 2 and 9
- B2 – City Airport Terminal
- B3 – Transfer Area, Light Rail (Sinsa – Wirye)
- B4 – GTX
- B5 – KTX
Obviously with a a project of this magnitude in the heart of Seoul’s business district, disruptions will cause havoc with the already heavy traffic (both human and vehicular) in the area. The city plans to build the entire center “in one go” to reduce the amount of disruption to the area.
Investigating the possibility of building the project this way and securing funds is expected to be ready by March 2016, with an aim to have to begin construction in 2017 and open the center in 2021.
KTX? GTX? Light Rail?
Believe it or not, all of these have been planned for a while.
As you may know, next year KTXs will be coming to Suseo Station in Gangnam-gu. (We wrote about this a very long time ago and we’ll posting another update about this with the latest info very soon.)
The high speed rail line will be extended from Suseo to the new transfer center and will also serve as the first GTX line (Line A) to open from Dongtan. The GTX Line from Uijeongbu to Geumjeong (Line C) is also expected to pass through the station.
The light rail line on the third floor underground is also another planned project called the Wirye – Sinsa Line which I get the feeling still has quite a lot of planning to go through before it’s given the green light.
The GTX line from Samseong to Dongtan is expected to be the first line up and running in time for opening in 2021. Obviously it’s no secret that dates for projects like these often get pushed out further once construction is underway, so don’t be surprised if things are delayed by a year or two.
Long-term there are even other connections expected to run from the station such as a KTX connection to Uijeongbu and the Southern Express Line which I won’t speculate on as it’s not sure yet if they’ll even go ahead.
A Big Job
I don’t often put many projects under our “Large Scale Projects” category, but with the number of transport modes being built in such a prominent place, deep underground, if everything goes ahead it would definitely become one of the most major transport hubs in Seoul.
The project area is 2,356,000 million ㎥ and Seoul says that if the project goes ahead, will involve using 25 tons of soil or approximately 24,000 dump trucks.
Though the project is being built “in one go” to reduce disruption, construction won’t just be contained to the immediate area but also surrounding areas which the new lines run through. Of course this means Gangnam will once again be full of narrow roads and constructions sites which have become a familiar sight following the construction of Line 9, SinBundang Line and Bundang Line Extension in the same area in recent years.
Modelled on France’s La Défense Station near Paris which services several railway lines, Seoul hopes that the transport center will eventually become a major hub that is recognised internationally.