BYLINE: Cho, Ai-Kyoung
Operations Planning ManagerInchon Municipal GovernmentSubway Construction Headquarters
CONSTRUCTION is pushing ahead on the first metro line in the South Korean port of Inchon. Started in 1993 and now expected to open in 1999, the 24·6 km Line 1 is the first of five routes in a planned 125 km network, and will have taken five years to build at a total cost of 1487bn won. It will link Kyeyang-gu in the northeast to Tongchun-dong in the south of the city.
The population of Inchon is growing rapidly, mirroring that of the Greater Seoul capital region which lies immediately inland. The city already has more than 2 million inhabitants, and needs a modern public transport network for the 21st century. The metro is expected to handle around 45% of all public transport trips.
The whole of Line 1 will be underground, with a mix of bored tunnels and cut-and-cover station boxes. There will be 22 stations, including an interchange with Korean National Railroad’s Kyong-In line at Pupyong.
The stations are envisaged as centres of culture and focal points of urban development, with direct links to nearby shopping centres, office developments and cultural institutions. The station interiors will be decorated by local and national artists.
Considerable effort is going into the station design, with attention to signage, automated fare collection systems, and other equipment to ensure a high throughput capacity. Flap-style gates will each be able to process 60 people per minute, and high-capacity escalators will link the booking halls to the platforms below. Each station will be numbered as well as named, and the numbers will be prominently displayed.
All stations will be fully accessible for disabled riders, with separate entrance gates and lifts throughout. Signboards will be fitted with induction blocks and finger switches for use by blind travellers. Separate toilets will be available for the disabled, whilst the payphones at each station will be disabled-accessible. Reserved spaces will be provided on each trainset.
Metro operations will be fully automatic, although there will still be a driver on each train to ensure the well-being of passengers, provide information, and ensure personal safety. Operations will be managed by a central control complex, which will oversee the automatic train control, signalling, communications and power supplies, and communicate with stations and train crew by radio and telephone links. Trains will run every 2 1??2 min at peak times, and at 4 min intervals off-peak.
A fleet of 25 eight-car trainsets is on order from Daewoo Heavy Industries, at a cost of 86bn won. The first three units are due for delivery on February 8 next year, with 10 more on March 10 and the final dozen by June 18. This will leave time for test running and commissioning before the start of revenue services in early 1999.
The trains are derived from the existing metro stock used in Pusan, but with a more streamlined appearance. IGBT-based traction controls will be used to reduce noise and electrical interference. Power will be drawn at 1·5 kV DC from an overhead conductor rail. The passenger saloons will be air-conditioned and double-glazed, and fitted with eight-colour digital information displays.
The Line 1 trains will be stabled and maintained in a depot at Kyulhyon-dong, close to the northern end of the line. This will also incorporate the staff training school and the main power supply transformer station.
As the construction of Line 1 nears completion, detailed planning is getting under way for subsequent phases of the network, which are due to be completed by 2007 at a cost of 3280bn won.
A 5·8 km extension to Line 1 is included in the plans for New Songdo City, which would be built on reclaimed land along the southeast waterfront beyond Tongchun-dong. The timing of this extension depends on the construction of the reclamation and new city.
Line 2 will be the longest route, at 35·4 km. It will run from the Namdong Industrial Complex in the south to Komdan in the northwest, via Yonhui, Kajongro, City Hall, Mansu and Nonhyondong. Depots will be provided at both ends of the line, and interchange with Line 1 will be at City Hall.
Line 3 is known as the ’circle line’, and will run in a horseshoe for 34·2 km from Inchon Grand Park to Onsu and Shinwol in Puchon City - where it will interchange with Lines 7 and 11 of the Seoul metro. At the centre of the route, Line 3 will loop through the heart of the old port, interchanging with Line 1 at Art Center and Pupyonggu Office, and with Line 2 at Namdong Office and Kajwa. The Line 3 depot will be located at Unyon-dong.
Latest addition to the network is a 9·5 km branch serving the northern part of New Songdo City. This will start from Chuan, at an interchange with Line 2 and the KNR Kyong-In line. Heading southwest through Hagik-Okryon, the branch will interchange with KNR’s Su-In line at Songdo, and finish at the planned New Songdo terminus of the Line 1 extension.
Another major rail project will connect with the metro in the north of the Inchon urban area. This is the planned International Airport Rail Link serving the proposed Seoul international airport to be built on reclaimed land in the Yellow Sea off the coast. Starting from central Seoul, the Rail Link would serve the city’s existing airport at Kimpo before heading west to the new airport site. Passing through Inchon, it will connect with metro Line 1 at Kyeyang and with Line 2 at Komam. A 15·5 km metro branch is also planned to link the centre of Inchon directly to the new airport via Wolmido. o
CAPTION: Line 1 is entirely underground, using cut-and-cover tunnels under major roads through the city centre
CAPTION: Inchon’s three cross-city metro lines and two branches will create a comprehensive network, linking with rail and metro routes to the capital Seoul