Only one year late…

Suncheon Bay’s PRT to be launched as ‘SkyCube’.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Suncheon’s PRT will finally open for commercial service on 19/20 April following its trial operations during the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo. News reports seem to have inconsistent dates for the launch but this is often due to the actual opening ceremony being held the day before services begin.

This is also exactly one year after it was supposed to open for the expo, the original date being 20 April 2013. (Did somebody get the launch date wrong or something?)

In any case, it’s great to see that it will be finally up and running for good. The transport system has been renamed ‘SkyCube’ and is of course being touted as a green transport solution. Though it baffles me as to why SC-PRT seem to insist on comparing the cost savings with that of a standard rail line/subway when it would have never been an option in such an environment anyway.

Check out our previous articles for more information:

PRT System to Open for Suncheon Bay Garden Expo
What’s the story with Suncheon Bay’s PRT?

Related Links/Sources:
SC-PRTNewsis  | Data News (Korean Press Release)

 

Three New Stations for Gyeongchun Line [Updated Post]

Image: Ahn Woo-seok

Image: Ahn Woo-seok

Update 4 – December 2013: All three stations have now been opened with Sinnae(Shinnae/신내역) Station having finally opened on December 28  2013. Unfortunately work has not even started on building a Line 6 Sinnae Station extended from the current terminus at Bonghwasan due to a disagreement between KORAIL and SMRT over whether the Line 6 station should have one or two tracks. Photos of the new Sinnae Station can be seen here

Update 3 – November 2013: Cheonmasan Station will finally open on November 30. View photos from the latest progress on Sinnae Station which is expected to open on December 28.

Update 2 – July: As you can see from these photos which were recently taken of the Cheonmasan Station construction site, the station is still far off opening. Estimates at this stage put the opening date in November.

Update:According to MLTM, Mukhyeon Station has been renamed to Cheonmasan Station and will be opening for service on June 29, followed by Shinnae Station on September 14.

On December 15,  Byeollae Station (별내역), the first of three new stations on the Gyeongchun Line was opened officially. This will be followed by Sinnae Station (신내역) in early 2013 and Cheonmasan Station (Formerlly Mukhyeon묵현역) in June 2013. Byeollae and Sinnae stations are located in areas which are currently already under heavy development. Byeollae Station in particular will serve Byeollae “new city“, a massive new development on the the outskirts of Seoul and situated near the start of the Gyeongchun Line. Read more of this post

Goodbye Haeundae Station…

Thinking of taking the train to Haeundae next summer? Don’t be caught out when you arrive at a brand new station in a completely different location to what you might be used to.

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The new Haeundae Station – Image: 안우석

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Final Bundang Line Extension Opens

The day is finally here…for some anyway. The final Bundang Line Extension from Mangpo (망포) to Suwon (수원) will finally opened today (Saturday 30 November). Over the past three years the southern end of the line has been extended in stages with Jukjeon – Giheung (5.1km) and Giheung – Mangpo (7.4km) being completed in the Decembers of 2011 and 2012 respectively. Of course the northern extension from Seolleung to Wangshimni was also opened in 2012.

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Thanks to @qiranger for the image.

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What’s the story with Suncheon Bay’s PRT?

There has been some confusion over Suncheon Bay’s PRT system after the head of SC-PRT announced that it was stopping trial services that have been open to the public according to this article by NSP Communications.

The transport system was originally supposed to begin operations in April on the same day that the Suncheon Bay Garden Expo 2013 got underway. Unfortunately, the PRT was far from ready and didn’t open to the public until nearly four months later on August 15. Check out the view from one of the pods filmed back in May in the video below.

Despite this, the system is still in its testing phase and the article states the mixed messages emanating from the PRT operator. One director in the company said that the test operations would only be open to the public until Chuseok, while the CEO of the company claimed that they would be open to the public until the promised date of October 20 when the Garden Expo ends.

Earlier in the year four government officials leading the PRT project were also disciplined after it was found that the company constructing the line had already been chosen in advance.

Unfortunately most major light rail projects in Korea thus far have been marred by either accidents, fallout between companies or extended delays in opening. Considering that there are plans for numerous other light rail projects – not just in Seoul but around the country, one hopes that planners will learn from the mistakes of others.

‘World Cup Bridge’ Completion Date Moved to 2017

“World Cup Bridge” (월드컵대교) is the name of the 22nd bridge which is being constructed across the Han River between Mapo-gu and Yeongdeungpo-gu in order to relieve traffic congestion. This is not recent news by any means, construction on the bridge having started back in February 2010.

Nevertheless, many citizens of Seoul still seem unaware of this new road and pedestrian link which was originally planned to be  completed in the latter half of 2015. According to Financial News, that date has now been changed to 2017 due to reasons including difficulty procuring capital.

월드컵대교조감도

Plans for the World Cup Bridge – Image: Hjzzumnet (WIkicommons)

The exact location of the bridge runs from Yangpyeong-dong in Yeongdeungpo-gu to Sangam-dong, right next to the World Cup Stadium in Mapo-gu. It’s located between the Gayang and Seongsan Bridges, approximately only 650 metres west of the latter. Accordingly, the bridge’s other name used during planning has been the “2nd Seongsan Bridge”.

The 1.98km bridge which is cable stayed and six lanes wide will be built by Samsung C&T at a cost of 334.5 billion won. The southern part of the bridge will link up with Gonghang-ro and the Seobu Expressway, with the northern end meeting Jeungsan-ro and the Naebu Expressway. One good thing about the bridge is that it features dual  bicycle lanes which link up to other cycle lanes along the Han River parks. The bridge will be built so that up to 5000 ton cruise ships can pass below it after coming through the Gyeongin Waterway which officially started operations in May last year.

Read more about the bridge in Korean here or English here(old article).

YongIn Everline to Finally Open (For real this time!)

Though some thought the day would never come, the Yongin Everline finally opens on April 26 for service following an opening ceremony which begins at 3pm. Using the line will be free all weekend and fares will be collected from April 29. Despite construction on the line being completed almost three years ago in June 2010, plans to open the line were thrown into turmoil after various disputes between Yongin City and YongIn Everline, including a spat over the minimum revenue guarantee (MRG) for the project. Read more of this post

Alternatives Being Investigated for Wolmido’s Monorail

The fate of Incheon’s monorail, Wolmi Eunha Rail, lies in the hands of the Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) after a disastrous history since the line’s initial “completion” in 2009. According to this article from DongA News and several others, the KRRI will be investigating the safety of the line to decide whether it can be fixed and used, or whether the line will be altered and used a different way. Read more of this post

Seoul to Begin Night Bus Services

Update: This trial was successful and now we have 9 night lines operating in Seoul. More information can be retrieved here.

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Image: Flickr – bikesandwich

One question that is often asked by many while living in Seoul is why there is no public transport in the earliest hours of the morning. This will soon change when two new night bus services begin operating across Seoul from April 19 with more to come later in the year. Read more of this post

The Saemaul Service Gets Renamed!…to ITX-Saemaul

Korail has announced the name of the new Saemaul trains which will begin running in the first half of 2014. After holding a naming competition where 1941 entries were collected, the train has been renamed the “ITX-Saemaul”.

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Image: Korail

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