Sincheon Station to be Renamed

Sincheon (신천) or Sinchon (신촌) Station?

Whether you only speak a little Korean or you’re a native speaker, it’s not unusual to have to clarify which station you mean when talking about these two stations due to how similar they sound. What made it even worse is the fact that they are both popular entertainment areas for university students and there is also a suburb named Sincheon-dong on the other side of Jamsil to where Sincheon Station is located.

It seems Sincheon residents finally got sick of this and asked that it be changed. Following a vote from a selection of names including Sinjamsil Station (신잠실역) and Jamsil Jungang Station  (잠실중앙역), the name that received the most votes and will be used as the new name is Jamsilsaenae Station (잠실새내역).

If you accidentally go to the wrong station it's nearly a 40 minute train ride to correct your mistake.

If you accidentally go to the wrong station it’s nearly a 40 minute and 20 station subway ride to correct your mistake.

As for the meaning of the new name, the first part is obviously from the area of Jamsil which the station is located in. The second part of the name “sanae” is actually the pure Korean version of Sincheon (신천) which is made up of “new (新)”  and “stream (川)” in Hanja aka Chinese characters.

I personally think they could have just called it Saenae Station as there are now three stations with Jamsil included in the name all on the same line: Jamsilsaenae, Jamsil and Jamsilnaru. Nevertheless, hopefully the change will mean less people getting a taxi to the completely opposite side of Seoul by accident.

The new name of Jamsilsaenae Station is expected to come into use a month and a half later. It will probably still take a while for people to adjust to the new name as always but as signs and subway maps change people I think people will forgot the old name faster than you think. Who remembers what Jamsilnaru Station used to be called?

Banner Image: Wikicommons

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.

17 Comments

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  • You might mention that there are two stations called Sinchon (신촌)—in addition to the one being renamed. The better-known one is on the green circle line; the other, nearby on a line that’s apparently used mainly during rush hour. (My spouse and I got stuck at the latter one evening, waiting over an hour for a train to Seoul Station!) These two stations are currently differentiated by ‘underground’ and ‘above ground’, respectively.

    Loren Billings 2 years ago Reply


    • A good point – even adds to the confusion further!

      Andy Tebay 2 years ago Reply


  • A lot of the demand for the name change has to do with (in my opinion) land prices…because the price that the name “Jamsil” carries (in the “Jamsilsaenae” station name) will definitely have an impact on an increase in land prices in the Shincheon area.

    Jennifer 2 years ago Reply


    • I agree with you, though I didn’t want to be too presumptuous in my post so left it out. I feel it’s not only about having 잠실 in the name to increase housing prices but also about shaking the image of old 신천 which was (and still is) a place full of bars, clubs and motels as well as some older apartments in front. However those old apartments are now long gone and the area does feel a lot more like central Jamsil.

      Andy Tebay 2 years ago Reply


  • Instead of renaming the station, a better solution to clear up the confusion would have been to simply correct the English spelling of 신촌. If it were spelled ‘Shinchone’ like it is pronounced, no one would make the mistake. The long-O/short-O issue is the most difficult concept Korean students face in English and is often the greatest area of miscommunication and embarassment. (Anyone remember ‘I want a Coke?’) If we could get the romanizations straight, ESL students and expats alike could better bridge the gap of making sense of our respective languages.

    alex 2 years ago Reply


    • Thanks for your comment Alex. To be fair this wasn’t just an issue for foreigners living in Korea and the pronunciation of it but for Koreans themselves due to how similar the names sound which is why residents have asked that it be changed. Also all station names, and any official signage for that matter has to follow the official romanization standard unless excepted due for historical reasons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanization_of_Korean

      Andy Tebay 2 years ago Reply


      • About time.

        Paul 2 years ago Reply


  • If they ask me which one I just say 신촌 next to Hongdae ;)

    Natanz 2 years ago Reply


    • I used to do the same method by mentioning Yonsei University. Actually in Level 1’s textbooks at Yonsei’s Korean language school they had a dialogue where people get confused by the station names. Soon that lesson will be more of a history lesson :)

      Richard 2 years ago Reply


  • Nope, this is one of my favorite areas since 2009. The confusion is the best part. If I don’t like someone and they want to meet me ill simply say Sincheon and they will think its Sinchon. Thus avoiding that individual. Its fool proof system and this screws with my game.

    Jeffrey K 2 years ago Reply


  • Jamsillaru used to be called Seongnae.

    Ders 2 years ago Reply


  • I don’t get why they don’t just name 신촌역 into 연대입구. 연대 is short for Yonsei University, and it would match the theme of of the adjacent 홍대 and 이대 stops.

    Josiah E. 2 years ago Reply


    • Josiah—I used to think this too. Even further back, I wondered why they didn’t just change the name of the overground Sinchon, since the line two station is presumably more popular. However, I believe (open to correction) that the Gyeongui station is quite a bit older.

      As to 연대역, this was probably the best idea until the upcoming line connected to the campus was announced. Given that the campus recently invested a huge amount into underground infrastructure, I’m hoping it will be connected directly to the upcoming station.

      I stand by Sinchon Rotary Station—maintains compatibility with the current name, and it’s not likely the rotary is going anywhere anytime soon! Although, they did also build a roundabout directly in front of the Sinchon train station as well… Perhaps they should rename that one Abandoned Migliore Mall Station and be done with it.

      Philip C. Partington 2 years ago Reply


  • It has long been an issue for me. Every time i run a tour for 25 internationals that meets-up at Shinchon, at least one person goes to Shincheon instead. No matter how i notify and explain. …. Foolish to have such similar ones on the same line.

    Sanshinseon 2 years ago Reply


  • I voted for 나와 너의 신천역 personally, but I guess that was considered slightly too dumb.

    Ben 2 years ago Reply


  • Next up should be the two other stations that sound familiar 삼송 (Line 3) and 삼성 in Kangnam. I mistakenly told the taxi driver the Line 3 station name (only having lived in Korea 6 months) when I needed to go to COEX 삼성.. and it was for a job interview to boot..

    Darren 2 years ago Reply


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