Noryangjin Station Transfer Tunnel Finally Opens

This morning the Noryangjin Station transfer tunnel between Seoul’s Line 1 and 9 finally opened, more than six years after Line 9 first began operating.

If you’ve ever had to make a transfer at Noryangjin Station, you’ll know that up until now doing so was pretty annoying due to the lack of an internal transfer tunnel. This meant that you had to go outside the station and walk to the other station, as well as go through two sets of gates, of course scanning your transport card twice in the process.

Old Noryangjin Transfer

Up until now passengers have had to leave the station to transfer between stations.

Of course the gates were still set up so that it counted as a transfer despite leaving the station, but nevertheless it was a pain not being sheltered from the elements and also having to run up and down two sets of stairs at the Line 1 station for some platforms due to the station design. Commuters using a one-use ticket or commuter pass weren’t able to transfer at this station without paying again.

Seoul says that the new transfer tunnel cuts the distance between stations from 300 meters to 150 meters and reduces the transfer time by two minutes. While a couple of minutes may not seem like much, it can mean the difference between waiting quite a while if you miss some trains, particularly some of the more infrequent services on Line 1 or the popular express trains on Line 9.

Like at all Metro 9 stations, passengers will still need to pass through a transfer gate. There are also four elevators and two escalators connecting the stations.

noryangjin escalator

One of the escalators that connects with a Line 1 platform. Image: Seoul

According to Yonhap news, Seoul Metropolitan City says that the new connection cost 19.5 billion won and will benefit the 27000 commuters that transfer between the stations everyday. One-use ticket and commuter pass card holders can now transfer normally like at any other station.

The opening of the tunnel leaves Seoul Station as the only station in the city where you still need to leave the station to transfer to one of the other metro lines (Gyeongui Line) at the same station.

 

Goodbye to Noryangjin’s Pedestrian Overpass

Alongside the lead up to the opening of the new transfer connection, Seoul has also been saying goodbye to Noryangjin’s famous pedestrian overbridge after it was decided earlier this year to remove it. The bridge which was built 35 years ago, stretched over the busy Noryangjin-ro and had become a defining character of the area in itself. Connecting the main station area with numerous academies, many people will have fond (or not so fond) memories of using the bridge when going to study or sit civil service exams here. A huge message board was even set up for residents to say their goodbyes.

Despite this, the overpass was not very accessible for the elderly or disabled. It was also in poor condition and in 2013 was given a “C” grade following an inspection. Many complaints were received about how the bridge shook from the constant traffic flowing under it and keeping it maintained was costing more than 10 million won a year.

Seoul says goodby to the Noryangjin Overpass after 35 years.

Seoul says goodbye to the Noryangjin Overpass after 35 years.

According to Dongjak-gu, the estimated number of pedestrians that used the overpass was 2820 an hour. A new pedestrian crossing has been built directly under where the overpass was and Line 1 users can also use the new transfer tunnel via the Line 9 entrance to get the station.

The photo of the overpass below taken just before its removal shows a sign reading in Korean, “35 years…thanks for holding out so long!”— probably could have used a better choice of words there.

noryangjin-crossing

The new pedestrian crossing which has been installed next where the overpass used to be. Image: Dongjak-gu

Banner Image: Seoul Press Release

About This Author

Originally from New Zealand, Andy moved to Korea in 2007 and very quickly became interested in the many different public transport and urban development projects around Korea. He currently lives in Sejong city and is particularly interested in rail projects, transport hubs and technology.

8 Comments

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  • At long last! This has always seemed something of an oddity and I wonder why exactly they didn’t do it when the line nine station first went in. The outpour for the overpass is really fascinating. Although, having only been there a small handful of times, I can say it was definitely characteristic of the area.

    The colour for line one on the new transfer sign looks wrong unfortunately… With so many blue/green coloured lines in the system, I really can’t understand why they don’t focus more on getting them right. I have noticed some line four stations updating their signs with a more distinctly sky blue shade, which is welcome.

    It should figure though that the remaining outdoor transfer is Gyeongui at Seoul, being one of my main transfers… And indeed it is long, and indeed the airport line just got its tunnel there. Still, exciting news.

    Philip Partington 2 years ago Reply


    • I didn’t notice the colour on the sign! Good point. It’s surprising to hear that you use the transfer at Gyeongui. To be honest I’m not sure if they’ll ever put in a transfer tunnel for this as I’m not sure if the demand is there, from your commutes do you notice many others transferring between these lines?

      Andy Tebay 2 years ago Reply


      • It’s hard to say whether that’s many people. First off, Seoul is quite a busy station otherwise, of course. And secondly, I rarely use the line during actual commuting hours, which is when I assume it sees the vast majority of its traffic. However, if the once hourly schedule is any indicator, its use must be very limited. Personally I time my departure out to that schedule if possible as the station is much closer to Yonsei than Sinchon on line two, or even Edae Station to Edae itself. Connections to Ilsan aside, it’s a much more convenient way of getting downtown than by bus, or out to lines one or four by subway.

        As for its on-spot benefit… I’m not sure how arduous the AREX transfer was at Seoul in the past as I never had that experience. However, transferring from the Gyeonggi portion of the station involves a rather large set of stairs, a partially controlled two-way roadway, a shopping plaza which is quite crowded on Sundays, two sets of packed escalators, as well as a swarming lobby space, plus of course two sets of gates. After that second gate there are still two more sets of stairs to tackle.

        Well, you can see why I usually end up taking the bus instead!

        Philip Partington 2 years ago Reply


    • Something I’ve also pondered myself. On that note, I’ve noticed recently that Line 5’s purple has been creeping towards Line 1’s navy blue on new signage in and around Dongdaemun recently.

      Paul 2 years ago Reply


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