Speculating About the Sin Bundang Line

The new Exit 5 at Jeongja Station silently awaits foot traffic.

Speculation abounds regarding the Sin Bundang Line, a new express subway connecting Jeongja directly to Gangnam in Seoul.  Posters touting the new line brag that it will complete the trip in 17 minutes(!) but I originally heard much higher figures.  Either way, I’m sure the affluent residents of Pangyo will be pleased to finally have a station in their neighborhood.

Nobody really seems to know when it’s set to begin service, though.  The best I can find is an unattributed line at Wikipedia:  ” Construction started in mid-2005, for revenue start in Sep 2011.”  I’d previously heard December 2011, so this is exciting news.

Jeongja sign

Interesting that the station number is a different color from the Yellow used on Bundang Line stations.

My excitement reached even higher levels when I saw the new station entrances gaping open just a couple blocks north of Jeongja Station.  I’m confused though, because these entrances also say “Jeongja” on them and continue the entrance/exit numbering system where the others left off.

I thought it might be a whole other station, because in Jeongja Station there are currently no signs of expansion or construction.  Then again, maybe getting the line up and running is the first priority.  Connecting or expanding stations can be done later, I guess, but it does make me think that September is just wishful thinking.

Another reason for skepticism about September is that the subway maps don’t show even a dotted line to indicate a future route, the way they did for the new Incheon Airport connection and others.

And it looks like this project may be way behind schedule, which makes me think guessing a date is a waste of time. From Urbanrail.net’s Seoul Metro page:

The proposed Sin Bundang Line Rail Project is a 19.3km rail transit line running in a north-south direction linking the Gangnam area with Jeongja in the Bundang residential district. The proposed alignment passes through 6 stations, i.e. Gangnam, Yangjae, Poi, Cheonggye, Pangyo and Jeongja. It intersects with 2 existing lines at Gangnam and Yangjae. An existing Bundang Maintenance depot, owned by KNR and located approximately 1km south of Jeongja Station, is to be used for the SBL Project rolling stock maintenance. The SBL Line signal system shall be based on state-of-the-art communications-based train control (CBTC) technology, utilizing two-way digital inductive loop communications between intelligent trains, and wayside equipment, and a network of ATS/ATO computers designed for very high system reliability and availability. Construction starts in Mid-2005, for revenue start in Jan 2010. (Emphasis mine)

If you want to add to the speculation, or have more reliable information, we appreciate comments.

–Daniel Daugherty

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