Wolmi Galaxy Rail

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Wolmi Galaxy Rail (월미은하레일 Wolmi Eunha Reil) is a partly completed but currently non-operational monorail on the island of Wolmido in Incheon, South Korea. The line was scheduled to open in March 2010,[1] but opening has been repeatedly postponed.[2] In 2011, Joongang Daily reported that construction had been indefinitely suspended due to "colossal corruption",[3] and that what had been built was set to be demolished due to "safety issues".[4] As of February 2014, test runs continue to operate and no final decision has yet been made.

The project has a poor safety record. In April 2010, a test vehicle collided with a rail inspection vehicle, causing it to crash into a station, parts of which collapsed onto the street below. In August 2010, a wheel falling from the vehicle on a test run injured a pedestrian.[5] In May 2012, a current collector fell off the train, although there were no injuries.[6] A technical inspection in May 2013 revealed numerous unresolved safety issues.[7]

The monorail line was to have 4 stations and cover 5.1 km connecting Wolmido Island to Incheon Station, the west terminus of Seoul Subway Line 1.[8] 1.15 km is double-tracked, but the loop around Wolmido (3.94 km) is single-track. Phase 2, if built, would have added 2 km single track connecting to Dong-Incheon station, also on Metro Line 1, with a potential Phase 3 looping back to Incheon station.[8]

If opened, the system would be the first in the world to use Urbanaut technology, whose selling point is an inverse T-shaped track: large wheels run on the horizontal part of the track, while small wheels press against the rail and keep it in place.[9] Trains will have a capacity of only 70 passengers.

The cost of the entire system, originally estimated at US$60 million,[10] had risen to 110 billion Korean won (approx. US$100 million) before construction was suspended.


See also[edit]