SOUTH KOREA: The Sillim Line rubber tyre automatic metro line linking Saetgang in Yeouido with Gwanak-gu near Seoul National University opened to passengers on May 28, after an inauguration ceremony the previous day.


The 7·8 km entirely underground line offers an end-to-end journey time of 16 min, compared to 35 min by bus. There are 11 stations, including four interchanges.

The line has been built by the NSLR consortium of 14 companies including Daelim, Doosan and Hanwha under a 560bn won build-transfer-operate contract awarded in 2015, with ownership transferred to the Seoul Metropolitan Government following the completion of the construction.

The city of Seoul contributed 38% of the cost, the national government 12% and NSLR the remaining 50%. Construction began in February 2017.

In January 2021 NSLR awarded a joint venture of Hyundai Rotem and Gwangju Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corp a 329·5bn won operation and maintenance contract.

The Sillim Line uses the Korean Automated Guideway Transit system, with rubber tyres running on concrete surfaces with rails for guidance. This was selected to permit sharp curves and provide short braking distances.


Woojin Industrial Systems has supplied 12 three-car trainsets, with 10 required for normal operations. Each train has a capacity of 268 passengers including 48 seated.

The line is equipped with a domestically developed and manufactured signalling and control system and operation is fully automated, although at first each train will have a member of staff on board.

Services run every 4 min during the day, increasing to every 3 ½ min in the peaks, and decreasing to every 10 min in the early morning and late evening.

A northern extension is proposed.

  • The third phase of Seoul Metropolitain Subway’s Shin-Bundang Line running 2·5 km north from Gangnam to Sinsa opened May 28.