Gyeonggi Province Plans Superfast Subway

      October 29, 2009 12:35

      Gyeonggi Province plans a fast underground train link to make commuting between Seoul and satellite cities faster and more convenient.

      At the moment it takes an average of 66 minutes to commute between Seoul and Incheon or elsewhere in Gyeonggi Province by public transport, the Gyeonggi Provincial Government said Wednesday. Traffic volume between Seoul and Gyeonggi Province increased by 65.5 percent over the last four years, making the option of commuting by personal car less and less attractive.

      With the building of new satellite cities, the influx of people to the Seoul metropolitan area has been growing every year, and traffic congestion costs in the area mounted to W12.42 trillion last year.

      To tackle traffic congestion in the Seoul metropolitan area, Gyeonggi asked the central government to build three Great Train eXpress lines in January stretching over 145.5 km in total. The first line will cover the 46.3 km between KINTEX in Ilsan and Dongtan, Hwaseong. The 49.9 km-long second line links Songdo, Incheon to Cheongnyangni, Seoul. The third line of 49.3 km connects Uijeongbu and Geumjeong, Seoul.

      Cho Eung-rae, the vice president of the Gyeonggi Research Institute, said, "The idea of the GTX came up as the new means of transport to makes access to central Seoul from the outskirts quick and easy."

      The three GTX lines will connect the outskirts of Seoul to the center 40 to 50 m below ground. Normally, subway trains travel an average of 20 to 30 m below, but running deeper makes it possible to pave straight lines. Transfer from subway stations to GTX stations will be possible.

      The GTX will feature fast trains with a maximum speed of 200 km/h, traveling 100 km per hour including stops, which is over three times faster than subway trains.

      Gyeonggi predicts that the GTX will shorten the commuting time between Dongtan, Hwaseong, and Samseong, Seoul, from 66 minutes to 18 minutes when the three lines are completed. Travel time from Samseong to Ilsan, Goyang which takes 83 minutes now, will be reduced to 22 minutes, and from Songdo, Incheon to Yeouido, Seoul to 20 minutes instead of current 47.

      The provincial government plans to break ground in January 2011 for all three lines, and complete construction by September 2016. The total cost of the project is estimated to be W13.9 trillion.

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