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.

KTXs to New Pohang Station from 2 April

pohangmap

Click to view larger image.

Together with the opening of the Honam High Speed Railway on 2 April, the new high speed Donghae (East Sea) Line opens up from Moryang (모량) to a new Pohang Station (포항) on 2 April. This will mean that Pohang residents finally have access to the KTX connections that many other cities in the Gyeongsang Provinces have had for quite a while now. Tickets went on sale last week along with tickets for the Honam Railway. Read more of this post

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

Next Stop: 2015

Industries_in_2014_Landing_page

A look back at 2014

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and comment on our blog posts over the past year. There were definitely a few highlights throughout 2014 in transport and urban infrastructure news. Here are some of the bigger stories of the year in case you missed any,


Looking towards 2015

As usual, major projects usually get delayed and this year many waited in anticipation for the Incheon Airport maglev to open to no avail. We’ll have more on this soon.

There are several major projects scheduled for opening in 2015 so let’s hope that some of them will be able to launch on time! We’ll be blogging about these and other things in the new year so stay tuned. Happy New Year!

Seoul’s New Public Bicycle System

Megacities like Paris, London and New York initiated public bicycle sharing systems with the goal to raise the share of cycling. New York has their Citi bikes, London has the Boris bikes (or officially known as Barclays Cycle Hire) and Paris begun in 2007 the world-famous Vélib’. These are all huge systems with thousands of bicycles. Once, we gave an overview of systems in Korea and until now Seoul offers only two small bike-sharing services with around 340 bicycles. This year the bicycle policy team from Seoul’s transport division was unbelievably busy with setting up a new master plan for the development of such a system. A new public bicycle sharing system will be implemented in five areas in Seoul. It is the beginning of a city-wide bike service and the transformation of Seoul’s road infrastructure to a more diverse network. 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

No More Standing in Red Buses

Update – 30 August 2014: After a month the measure was revoked. The number of buses will be increased by 200 vehicles, as I stated in the blog post. But it won’t be illegal to allow standing passengers. The number of standing passengers decreased from 18% to 7%. The main reason for revoking the measure is that in September the new semester at university begins and the number of bus passengers will be higher than now. So, we are back to normal and it’s allowed to stand in the red Kyeonggi-buses.

 

A huge change awaits the public transportation in the capital region of Korea: In order to improve convenience and safety of buses, standing passengers won’t be allowed anymore on the majority of red buses. This measure was announced by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) in June and next week the measure will be implemented. Read more of this post

Incheon International Airport KTX Times Released

Incheon Airport KTX Schedules: (Effective from 30 June 2014)

In short here are the departures from and to the airport. The KTX also stops at Geomam (검암) Station when travelling to and from ICN. Please see this PDF timetable I whipped up for all the times and details of  airport KTX trains only. Alternatively, download the full KTX schedule in Excel format from Korail here. (Hosted locally as linking does not work.)

Disclaimer: These times are correct at the time of posting but are only a reference. Please do not rely on these times alone and confirm with Korail when planning your trip. I accept no responsibility for incorrect times due to changes.

ICN – Busan (Gyeongbu Line – see PDF for Daegu, Daejeon etc.)

Train No. Incheon International Airport Geomam
115 6:55 7:17
125 9:07 9:26
139 12:07 12:26
163 16:35 16:54
173 18:35 18:54
181 20:35 20:54

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Amazing Dongdaemun Design Plaza

dongdaemun design plaza (5)Finally I visited the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, in short DDP, which opened on March 21st. As you can already tell by the name, it lies in the famous Dongdaemun shopping area. This very futuristic building is the new hub for design and modern culture in Korea. It is also very photogenic design, so  I took pictures with my phone and GoPro (so some pictures have a wide-angle, fish-eye effect!). If you want to see better pictures, please go to Robert Koehler’s Flickr-page or to his Tumblr. Let’s explore the Dongdaemun Design Plaza together. Read more of this post

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)

 

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