Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Rail link between Seoul Airports Incheon and Gimpo to open next month

Travellers to South Korea will be interested to hear that the new rail link from the main International Airport of Seoul at Incheon will open next month March 23rd.

The new rail link to be known as AREX does not, as yet, take you right to Seoul city centre, but it does take you to the other airport in Seoul : Gimpo. From there you can travel on the Seoul Subway into downtown on Subway line 5.

However, judging by the timing and price quoted in the article I'm not sure how many customers it is going to attract. The journey between the two airports will take 33 minutes and cost 3,100 won on the slow train (every 12 mins). The express train (once an hour) will take 28 minutes for a price of 7,900 won. By comparison, a bus takes about 30 minutes and costs 4,500 won.

I guess the trains will be more frequent than the existing buses, but most visitors who are travelling to parts of Seoul beyond Gimpo will probably continue to take the limousine bus services. They go direct to a number of different parts of Seoul and beyond, which is easier than taking a train and then changing to the subway and possibly changing to another subway line as well, especially if you have luggage.

The second part of the line continuing on from Gimpo into Seoul Station is not due to open until 2010. Construction is well underway on the line mostly in tunnel. I'll be posting some photos of the work sites later.


matt said...

Heh, I was just going to post on this. I look forward to the photos of the construction sites. I have a few of the Magok bridge and of one of the sites near my place (and Gimpo airport). Perhaps I'll post those now...

Henry Finn said...

Hmmmm, good point. Although I will take it at least once for some photos, and if every other Korean does the same they just might be able to make it work!
I was always wondering what the empty building across from the terminal at Incheon was for until I heard about the rail link.

San Nakji said...

I can't wait for the train. I hate taking the bus. I think the train will be good for those who aren't familiar with Seoul. It makes it easier to orientate yourself on a first visit.

Anonymous said...

KBS has a fairly detailed story on it with a picture of one of the carriages.