Monday, January 3, 2011

Seoul subway updates : gos, no-gos, maybes

Political and budgetary tensions tend to slow down infrastructure projects, and only a few months after promising announcements (see "Spectacular extensions of Seoul Subway Lines 4-5-6-7 ?"), some subway line extensions are already being reconsidered. Here's the score as of today :

- Line 7 : the Northern terminus, Jangam Station, is quite close to booming Uijeongbu, and it made perfect sense to complete the connection with the closest hub, Nowon Station (unlike the inital project, which went all the way up to Pocheon)... but this case is now officially closed : rentability for this extension was evaluated at only 43% of the break even point, probably because Uijeongbu is already on Subway Line 1. So Jangam, a former shantytown now almost completely redevelopped, remains the last post before expressway 100.

- Line 5 : the
extension to Hanam just passes the threshold (rentability : 1.04). Now it's just a matter of time and priorities.

- Line 4 :
obviously the most vital project of all, the Danggogae-Namyangju extension will as expected fly, but a bit beyond schedule : if it scored 1.27 for rentability, financing remains an issue, and local officials wasted one year instead of pushing it.

Note that Seoul Metro (Lines 1, 2, 3, 4) started a trial with LED lights in several stations along Line 3 : they burn 28 W instead of 32 for fluorescent systems. It sure will take more than new bulbs to finance new subway stations, but that's a good resolution for 2011.

Seoul Village 2011

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