Donghae Line Opens in Busan, Next Phase to Ulsan to be Completed in 2018

The Donghae Line began operating today, bringing the number of lines on Busan’s metro system to six.

The new commuter railway is the first stage of a metro connection between Busan and Ulsan, and stretches from Bujeon Station to Ilgwang (Gijang-gun). The line is 28.5km long and stops at 14 stations, including transfer points at Geoje (Line 3), Busan Nat’l Univ. of Edu (Line 1) and Bexco (Line 2).

The route is similar to Seoul’s Line 1 in that it shares its track with the national rail network – the first of its type outside of the Seoul Capital Area. This means that standard train passengers can also transfer to the line at stations such as Gijang, Sinhaeundae and Bexco to reach their destinations faster. You may remember that we talked about the line just over three years ago when the old section of the Donghaenambu Line was closed and replaced with the current one, resulting in the loss of the old Haeundae Station.

Donghae Line

Click the image to view a larger version.

While the Donghae Line will make travel more convenient for residents of Gijang and commuters in the south-east of Busan, passengers will need to take note that the trains operate every 15 minutes during the peak times of 7am – 9am and 6pm – 8pm. Outside of those times the services only operate every 30 minutes, meaning anyone using the line will need to check schedules if they don’t want to risk a long wait. The timetable is available in excel format from the Korail website here (Korean).

The trains have four carriages, and a total of 96 services operate on weekdays, with just 88 services during the weekend. Of course, as its part of metro system fares are standard, and you can transfer from other lines and buses with your transport card. It’s hoped that the regional rail will stimulate development in neighboring cities and reduce traffic congestion.

The next phase of the line from Ilgwang to Taehwagang (formerly Ulsan) is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2018. Once the line is open, the connection between the two cities will be 65.7km long with 22 stations.

Donghae Line Map

Click on the map to view full the image. (Source: KR)

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.


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  • Did they make the subway transfer at Bujeon easier? As long as I know, you needed to leave either of the stations to access the other by crossing some local market.

    George 1 year ago Reply

    • I used it this past weekend to get to BEXCO and they still haven’t connected the metro station to the railway station at the Busan National University of Education stop. You have to exit the metro station. If you’re travelling south, it’s very confusing at the moment because the signs to connect to Donghae point to a small elevator that takes you below the tracks to another small elevator that brings you to the opposite platform. It’s very inconvenient and inefficient since the elevators only hold about 8 people. Still… I’m from southern California so it’s still impressive haha.

      Jose Cervantes 1 year ago Reply

  • Hi,

    Nice to meet you. I am from Malaysia. I stayed in Ulsan city. I just came to know that the donghae line will be connecting to Ulsan city. Thanks for the information.

    Saiful Izwan 11 months ago Reply

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