Seoul Station Airport Rail Transfer Tunnel Finally Opens

The Line 9 extension wasn’t the only thing that opened today. A new transfer tunnel at Seoul Station from the Airport Railroad to Lines 1 and 4 has finally opened making transfers for those heading to the airport via the subway and bus much easier and faster.

If you’ve ever tried to make this transfer, you’ll know that previously the two subway lines and the Airport Rail were not connected directly. This meant that to transfer, passengers had to leave the subway station, go up the escalators, navigate through the crowds at Seoul Station and then take another escalator down to the Airport Rail station. The new transfer tunnel reduces the transfer distance by 400m from 700m to 300m and also cuts down the time from 12 to 5 minutes.

Comparison of new and previous transfer paths.

Comparison of new and previous transfer paths.

Construction on the tunnel began in June 2012 and went through various safety tests as well as a “user check” together with potential users which included the Disabled Association. Similar to longer transfer paths in other stations, moving walkways are also installed to help keep crowds flowing. Note that the transfer tunnel doesn’t include the Gyeongeui Line which only has services to Munsan once an hour.

Concerns as Line 9 Extension Opening Approches

The term 지옥철 or “hell train” is a play on the Korean word for subway and has been tossed around the media over the past month in relation to the opening of Seoul’s Line 9 (Metro 9) extension later this month on 28 March. I’ll get to this in a minute, but first a bit about the extension in case you’re not up to speed.

Line9Map

Please note that final English names of stations may be different than the ones shown here.Original image from Kyunghyang Shinmun.

Read more of this post

Darweol & Weonheung Stations to Open on 27 December

Most years a number rail/metro projects will end up being scheduled to open on the same day and this year is no different. Along with the connection between the Gyeongui and Jungang Lines mentioned in my previous post, two stations Darweol Station (달월역) and Weonheung Station (원흥역) will be opening on this day.
Read more of this post

Gyeongui Line & Jungang Line to Finally Connect

It’s almost the end of the year already! Living away from Korea and having a fairly busy job has kept me from blogging. Thanks so much to my co-blogger Nikola for helping to keep Kojects alive despite being busy with this own work.

Nevertheless I’m still keeping my eye on developments – particularly on rail projects – and to be honest it has been fairly quiet with not too many major happenings in the last two years. (Still waiting on that Maglev to open!)

Korail321908One major change coming up very soon is the final connection between the Gyeongui Line (경의선) and the Jungang Line (중앙선). From 27 December 2014 a section of track between Gongdeok Station (공덕역) and Yongsan Station (용산역) will open — finally connecting the two lines.

With the direct connection in place, the two services will now operate as one. This means you’ll be able to travel from Munsan Station (문산역) near the DMZ all the way down to Yongmun Station (용문역) in the south-eastern area of Gyeonggi Province. The new service will cut up to 30 minutes off a trip between these two stations – though I imagine this is a journey that not many would regularly make! Read more of this post

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

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.

bundangext.jpg-large

Thanks to @qiranger for the image.

Read more of this post

Sustainable Transportation in Korea

UN-HABITAT published some weeks ago the GRHS 2013 (Global Report on Human Settlements) with a focus on sustainable human transport. Even though the report sometimes mentions Korea/Seoul and it contains an info-box about the bike sharing system in Changwon (p. 137),  a background study about sustainable transport in East Asia was more interesting for me. This report analyzed the condition of transport in China, Japan, Korea (South AND North), Mongolia and Taiwan. The authors seem to be great experts about mainland China and Shanghai but not so much about other regions. Nevertheless, it gives a nice context about sustainability in the transport sector of Korea. This post is going to summarize their main findings related to Korea without going too deep into the topic.

Read more of this post

10 New Lines in Seoul’s Metro Network

A look at Seoul’s metro-map is quite intimidating because it contains over a dozen subway lines (I counted 17, not including Everline) in a wide-reaching network. However, it doesn’t stop authorities from planning further extension and improvements of the system. End of July Seoul announced that they want to build 10 new subway lines in order to give every citizen the possibility to get on a subway within a 10 minutes radius from their home.

Gyeonggi-Do Will Also Expand Rail Network

Before we go into details of Seoul’s plan, I just want to mention that Gyeonggi-do will expand their subway-network as well. 9 lines with 163 km of rail are going to be build until 2020. The costs are estimated to be 5.8 trillion KRW. Their main motivation is to increase the model share of rail transport from 8.9 % to 17.1 %. You can find a map of the new lines for Gyeonggi-do here.

Seoul’s Plan

Actually, the magic number for Seoul is also 9! I mentioned 10 lines but 1 of them is an extension of Metro Line no. 9. Even though it isn’t a completely new plan, the plan contains still some surprising element: The former mayor of Seoul Oh Se-hoon intended to build seven new lines. After Park Won-soon became mayor of Seoul he postponed the plans, which is usually a sign that they were never supposed to be build. Now  the city government published that they are going to build ten new lines.  Six of the lines have been in the plans of the former mayor. The line, which was scratched, was the DMC-Line, a 6.5 km tram line from Susaek Station to the World Cup Stadium. Read more of this post

Safety Issues on Shinbundang Line

One of the youngest subway lines in Seoul’s metropolitan region has some problems, which could become a serious safety issue. Certain parts of the subway rail tracks on the Sinbundang Line broke in around 400 cases until now.  Read more of this post

Public Transport in Taipei

The last six days I was in Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, for a city-trip. Beforehand I heard a lot of good things about public transport of Taipei and so I was very excited to use subway, bus and other modes of transport. This post is going to summarize my experience and from time to time I’ll compare it with Seoul. The following picture shows the most important historical figures for Taiwan Chiang Kai-shek and China Sun Yat-sen sitting in a train.

Chiang-Kai-shek

Read more of this post

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 746 other followers