Seoul Metropolitan Subway

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Seoul Metropolitan Subway
South Korea subway logo.svg
Seoul Metro 2000 series train on Line 2
Native name수도권 전철 / 首都圈電鐵
Romanizations see box below
OwnerGovernment of South Korea, Seoul Metropolitan Government, Incheon Metropolitan City, Bucheon City, Uijeongbu City, Yongin City
LocaleSeoul Capital Area
Transit typeRapid transit, Commuter rail
Number of lines23
Number of stations640
Annual ridership1.91 billion (2017, Lines 1-9, Seoul Subway)[1]
1.16 billion (2017, Korail)[2]
Began operation15 August 1974 (47 years ago)
Operator(s)Seoul Metro, Korail, Incheon Transit Corporation, and private rapid transit operators
System length1,262.2 km (784.3 mi) (all lines)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
System map

Seoul Metropolitan Subway network map.png

Seoul Metropolitan Subway
Revised RomanizationSudogwon Jeoncheol
McCune–ReischauerSudokwŏn Chŏnch'ŏl

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is a metropolitan railway system consisting of 23 rapid transit, light metro, commuter rail and people mover lines located in northwest South Korea. The system serves most of the Seoul Metropolitan Area including the Incheon metropolis and satellite cities in Gyeonggi province. Some regional lines in the network stretch out beyond the Seoul Metropolitan Area to rural areas in northern Chungnam province and western Gangwon province, that lie over 100 km away from the capital.[3]

The network consists of multiple systems that form a larger, coherent system. These being the Seoul Metro proper, consisting of Seoul Metro lines 1 through 9 and certain light rail lines, that serves Seoul city proper and its surroundings; Korail regional rail lines, which serve the greater metropolitan region and beyond; Incheon Metro lines, operated by Incheon Transit Corporation, that serve Incheon city proper; and miscellaneous light rail lines, such as Gimpo Goldline and Yongin Everline, that connect corners of their respective cities to the rest of the network.[4] Most of the system is operated by three companies – Seoul Metro, Korail (Korea Railroad Corporation), and Incheon Metro - with the rest being operated by an assortment of local municipal corporations and private rail companies.

Its first metro line, Line 1, started construction in 1971 and began operations in 1974, with through-operation to Korail's suburban railways. As of 2022, the network has 331.5 km (206.0 mi) of track on lines 1–9 alone.


The first line of the Seoul Subway network started construction in 1971.[5] The first section of subway was built using the cheaper cut and cover construction method. Initial lines relied heavily on Japanese technology, and subsequent lines procured technological imports from Japan and the United Kingdom.[6] For example, Line 1 opened in 1974 with through services joining surrounding Korail suburban railway lines influenced by the Tokyo subway.[7] Today, many of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway's lines are operated by Korail, South Korea's national rail operator.[8]

It has been described as the world's longest multi-operator metro system by route length.[9] The subway has free WiFi accessible in all stations and trains.[10] Nearly all stations have platform screen doors installed; only some minor Korail-operated stations remain with open platforms.[11] By 2017, Korail will completely install screen doors in every station and platform.[12] The world's first virtual mart for smartphone users opened at Seolleung station in 2011.

All directional signs in the system are written in Korean using Hangul, as well as English and Katakana/Chinese characters for Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. In trains there are in addition many LCD screens giving service announcements, upcoming stop names, YTN news, stock prices and animated shorts. There are also prerecorded voice announcements that give the upcoming station, any possible line transfer, and the exiting side in Korean, followed by English. At major stations, this is followed by Japanese, then Mandarin Chinese, as well.[13]

Seoul Subway uses full-color LCD screens at all stations to display real-time subway arrival times,[14] which are also available on apps for smartphones.[15] Most trains have digital TV screens, and all of them have air conditioning and climate controlled seats installed that are automatically heated in the winter. In 2014, it became the world's first metro operator to use transparent displays for ads when it installed 48 transparent displays on major stations of Line 2 in Gangnam District.[14] All lines use the T-money smart payment system using RFID and NFC technology for automatic payment by T-money smart cards, smartphones, or credit cards and one can transfer to any of the other line within the system for free.[Note 1]

Trains on numbered lines and light rail lines generally run on the right-hand track, while trains on the named heavy-rail lines (e.g. Shinbundang Line, Bundang Line, and AREX) run on the left-hand track. The exceptions are the trains on Line 1, as well as those on Line 4 south of Namtaeryeong station. These lines run on the left-hand track because these rail lines are government-owned or through-run to government own lines and follow a different standard to the metro, one that is followed by all national rail lines with the exception of the Ilsan Line.[16]


Line 1, from Seongbuk station to Incheon station and Suwon station, opened on 15 August 1974. On 9 December 1978, the Yongsan-Cheongnyangni line via Wangsipni (now part of the Jungang Line) was added to Line 1. Line 2 opened on 10 October 1980. In 1985, the fare system changed from charging by distance to zone and the Edmondson railway ticket changed to a magnetic paper ticket. Line 4 opened on 20 April 1985, and Line 3 on 12 July. On 1 April 1994, the Indeogwon-Namtaeryeong extension of Line 4 opened. The Bundang Line, from Suseo station to Ori station, opened on 1 September. On 15 November 1995, Line 5 opened. The Jichuk-Daehwa extension of Line 3 opened on 30 January 1996. On 20 March, the Kkachisan-Sindorim extension of Line 2 opened. Line 7 opened on 11 October, and Line 8 on 23 November. On 6 October 1999, Incheon Subway Line 1 opened.

Seoul Subway Line 6 opened on 7 August 2000. In 2004 the fare system reverted to charging by distance, and free bus transfers were introduced. The Byeongjeom-Cheonan extension of Line 1 opened on 20 January 2005. On 16 December, the Jungang Line from Yongsan station to Deokso station opened. The Uijeongbu-Soyosan extension of Line 1 opened and shuttle service from Yongsan station to Gwangmyeong station began (with the route now shortened from Yeongdeungpo to Gwangmyeong) on 15 December 2006. On 23 March 2007, AREX opened. The Deokso-Paldang extension of the Jungang Line opened on 27 December. On 15 December 2008, the Cheonan-Sinchang extension of Line 1 opened. The magnetic paper ticket changed to an RFID-based card on 1 May 2009. On 1 July the Gyeongui Line from Seoul Station to Munsan station opened, and on 24 July Line 9 from Gaehwa station to Sinnonhyeon station opened.

The Byeongjeom-Seodongtan extension of Line 1 opened on 26 February 2010, and the Gyeongchun Line opened on 21 December. On 28 October 2011, the Shinbundang Line from Gangnam station to Jeongja station opened. The Suin Line, from Oido station to Songdo station, opened on 30 June 2012. The U Line opened on 1 July, the Onsu-Bupyeong-gu Office extension of Line 7 on 27 October and the Gongdeok-Gajwa extension of the Gyeongui Line on 15 December, and on 26 April, 2013, EverLine opened. On 27 December 2014, the Gyeongui Line was extended to Yongsan and started through running to the Jungang Line, forming the Gyeongui·Jungang Line. The Sinnonhyeon-Sports Complex extension of Line 9 opened on 28 March 2015. On 30 January 2016 the Jeongja-Gwanggyo extension of the Shinbundang Line opened, followed by the Songdo-Incheon extension of the Suin Line on 27 February. Incheon Subway Line 2 opened on 30 July, and the Gyeonggang Line on 24 September. The Gyeongui-Jungang Line is extended one station east to Jipyeong station on 21 January 2017, with 4 round trips to Jipyeong station. On 16 June 2018 the Seohae Line opened. Magongnaru station on Line 9 became an interchange station with AREX on 29 September 2018.[17] Bundang line was extended northeastward to Cheongnyangni station, allowing for connections to the Gyeongchun Line and regional rail services on 31 December 2018. On 28 September 2019, the Gimpo Goldline opened.[18] On 12 September 2020, the Suin Line extension between Hanyang Univ. at Ansan and Suwon, beginning the interlining with Line 4 between Oido and Hanyang Univ. at Ansan, as well as through-running with the Bundang Line to form the Suin–Bundang Line.[19] On May 24 2022, the Sillim Line opened, becoming the newest addition to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway.[20]

Lines and branches[edit]

The system is organized such that numbered lines, with some exceptions, are considered as urban rapid transit lines located within the Seoul National Capital Area (SNCA), whereas wide-area commuter lines operated by Korail provide a metro-like commuter rail service that usually extends far beyond the boundaries of the SNCA, rather similar to the RER in Paris. The AREX is an airport rail link that links Incheon International Airport and Gimpo Airport to central Seoul, and offers both express service directly to Incheon International Airport and all-stop commuter service for people living along the vicinity of the line. While operating hours may vary depending on the line in question, the Seoul Metropolitan Subway generally operates from 5.30 a.m. until 1 a.m. on weekdays, and from 5.30 a.m. until midnight on weekends.

System map of the Seoul Metropolitan Subway, showing current and future proposed lines, as of 28 May 2022.
Line name Terminus (Ascending / Descending) Stations Total length Opening Year Last Extension Operator Owner
     Line 1 Soyosan / Uijeongbu / Kwangwoon University / Yeongdeungpo Incheon / Sinchang(Soonchunhyang Univ.) / Gwangmyeong / Seodongtan 98 200.6 km[21][22][Note 2] 1974 2010 Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul Metropolitan Government
     Line 2 City Hall / Seongsu / Sindorim City Hall / Sinseol-dong / Kkachisan 51 60.2 km[22][obsolete source] 1980 1996 Seoul Metro Seoul Metropolitan Government
     Line 3 Daehwa Ogeum 44 57.4 km[21][22][Note 3] 1985 2010 Korail / Seoul Metro Government of South Korea / Seoul Metropolitan Government
     Line 4 Jinjeop / Danggogae[Note 4] Sadang / Oido[Note 5] 51 72.1 km[21][22][Note 6] 1985 2022 Korail / Seoul Metro / Namyangju City Corporation
     Line 5 Banghwa Hanam Geomdansan / Macheon 56 63.0 km[22] 1995 2021 Seoul Metro Seoul Metropolitan Government
     Line 6 Eungam Sinnae 39 36.4 km[22] 2000 2019
     Line 7 Jangam Seongnam 53 60.1 km[22] 1996 2021 Seoul Metro / Incheon Transit Corporation Seoul Metropolitan Government / Bucheon City Council / Incheon Metropolitan City Council
     Line 8 Amsa Moran 18 17.7 km[22] 1996 1999 Seoul Metro Seoul Metropolitan Government
     Line 9 Gaehwa / Gimpo International Airport[Note 7] VHS Medical Center 38 40.6 km 2009 2018 Seoul Metro Line 9 Corporation / Seoul Metro
     AREX Seoul Station Incheon Int'l Airport Terminal 2 14 63.8 km 2007 2018 Airport Railroad Co., Ltd. Government of South Korea
     Gyeongui–Jungang Line Dorasan / Imjingang / Munsan Jipyeong / Seoul Station 56 137.8 km[23] 2005 2021 Korail
     Gyeongchun Line Sangbong / Cheongnyangni / Kwangwoon Univ.[Note 8] Chuncheon 24 81.3 km[21] 2010 2016
     Suin–Bundang Line Wangsimni / Cheongnyangni[Note 9] Incheon 63 104.6 km[24] 1994 2020
     Ui LRT Sinseol-dong Bukhansan Ui 15 11.4 km[25] 2017 - UiTrans LRT Co., Ltd. Seoul Metropolitan Government
     Sillim Line Saetgang Gwanaksan(Seoul National Univ.) 11 7.8 km 2022 - South Seoul LRT Co., Ltd.
     Shinbundang Line Sinsa Gwanggyo 16 33.4 km[26] 2011 2022 Shinbundang Railroad Corporation / Gyeonggi Railroad Co., Ltd. / New Seoul Railroad Co., Ltd. / Neo Trans Government of South Korea
     Incheon Line 1 Gyeyang Songdo Moonlight Festival Park 30 30.3 km 1999 2020 Incheon Transit Corporation Incheon Metropolitan City Council
     Incheon Line 2 Geomdan Oryu Unyeon 27 29.1 km 2016 -
     EverLine Giheung Jeondae·Everland 15 18.1 km[27] 2013 - Yongin EverLine Co,. Ltd. / Neo Trans Yongin City Council
     U Line Balgok Depot Temporary Platform 16 11.3 km[28] 2012 2021 Uijeongbu Light Rail Transit Co., Ltd Uijeongbu City Council
     Gyeonggang Line Pangyo Yeoju 11 54.8 km 2016 - Korail Government of South Korea
     Seohae Line Sosa Wonsi 12 23.4 km 2018 - Korail / SEO HAE RAIL CO.,LTD. (Subsidiary of Seoul Metro) / ERAIL Co., Ltd. / WESTERN Metro Co., Ltd.
     Gimpo Goldline Gimpo International Airport Yangchon 10 23.7 km 2019 - GIMPO Goldline Co., Ltd. (Subsidiary of Seoul Metro) Gimpo City Council

Rolling stock[edit]

Fares and ticketing[edit]

T-money smart card

The Seoul Metropolitan Subway system operates on a unified transportation fare system, meaning that subways and buses in Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi-do are treated as one system when it comes to fares. For example, a subway rider can transfer to any other line for free (with the exception of Shinbundang Line, EverLine and U Line, the latter two adding a flat charge of 200 and 300 won respectively). One can also transfer to any Seoul, Incheon, Gyeonggi-do, or some Chungcheongnam-do city buses for free and get discounted fares on the more expensive express buses.[29]

In the case of Shinbundang Line, charges vary depending on the section used. The Sinsa - Gangnam section always charges 500 won, while the Gangnam - Jeongja section or the Jeongja - Gwanggyo section charges 1000 won when used alone, and 1400 altogether when used in conjunction with another. In total, the maximum added fee one can be charged is 1900 won, which can be achieved by using all three sections.[30]

Fare payments in Seoul are mainly handled by T-money and Cash Bee, which can also be used on buses, convenience stores and many other popular retail places. Riders must touch in a phone, card or other metro card and enabled device at the entry gates. Popular methods of payments are using NFC-enabled Android smartphones (topped up or billed to the owner's credit/debit card via the T-money app) or credit or check (debit) cards with built-in RFID technology issued by the bank or card company.

The current single-use ticket is a credit card-sized plastic card with RFID technology, which can be obtained from automated machines in every subway station. A 500 won deposit fee is included in the price, and is refunded when the ticket is returned at any station. Multiple use cards are sold in convenience stores and the functionality is included in many credit/debit cards.

Fares (except for single-use tickets) are currently 1,250 won for a trip up to 10 km, with 100 won added for each subsequent 5 km.[31] Once 50 km has been passed, 100 won will be added every 8 km. Single-use ticket users must pay RFID deposit 500 won plus 100 won surcharge to fare.

Half-priced children's tickets are available. The city government also uses Seoul Citypass as a transportation card. Senior citizens and disabled people qualify for free transit and can get a free ticket or enter and exit using side gates rather than turnstiles.

International travelers can also use a Metropolitan Pass (MPASS) which provides up to 20 trips per day during the prepaid duration of 1 day to 7 days. Depending on where you purchase the card, the service is limited to the Seoul metropolitan area or Jeju Island and does not work in taxis or certain convenience stores.[32][33]

Current construction[edit]

Opening 2022[edit]

Opening 2023[edit]

Opening 2024[edit]

Opening 2025+[edit]

Approved for construction[edit]

The following lines have not started construction, but are considered to be approved after their plans and their financing have been finalized. Most of these lines are scheduled to start construction in the next couple of years.


Seoul City[edit]

The Seoul Metropolitan government published a ten-year plan for expansion of the subway with the following projects under consideration.[43][44]

Incheon City[edit]

The Incheon Metropolitan government is working on the Second Incheon Metro Network Construction Plan that inherits the Incheon Metro Network Construction Plan published in 2016. It includes the construction of five new tram lines. The draft is expected to be released in October 2020.[50]

Network map[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ With the exception of AREX on Yeongjong Island (extra charge applied depending on distance) and Shinbundang Line (extra charge of 500~1900 KRW depending on the sections used). EverLine and U Line will allow free transfers from 2014.
  2. ^ Of which 192.8 km is operated by Korail and 7.8 km by Seoul Metro.
  3. ^ Of which 19.2 km is operated by Korail and 38.2 km by Seoul Metro.
  4. ^ Jinjeop is only served by trains terminating at Sadang, trains terminating at Danggogae go towards Oido
  5. ^ All trains from Jinjeop terminate at Sadang, while about 30-50% of trains from Danggogae terminate at Sadang with the rest operating until Ansan or Oido
  6. ^ Of which 40.4 km is operated by Korail and 31.7 km by Seoul Metro.
  7. ^ While Gaehwa is the official terminus, express trains only run to Gimpo International Airport station
  8. ^ Most trains run until Sangbong, very few trains operate to Kwangwoon Univ. and a few trains run to Cheongnyangni (However, express trains always go to Cheongnyangni)
  9. ^ Most trains run until Wangsimni and a few trains run to Cheongnyangni


  1. ^ "자료실 : 알림마당>자료실>자료실".
  2. ^ Korail
  3. ^ 2012 Korail Statistics See p.400 for Seoul Metropolitan Subway (수도권 전철). Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of South Korea: Definition of Urban Rail and Wide-area Rail". Archived from the original on 25 April 2012.
  5. ^ "서울 지하철 1호선" (in Korean). Seoul Metropolitan Government. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  6. ^ scaadmin (31 July 2015). "[Metro] Construction of the Seoul Metro – the Driver behind Sustainable Urban Growth & Change". 서울아카이브 Seoul Solution. Retrieved 27 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Seoul's first subway line opened in 1974". The Korea Times. 13 February 2011. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Introducing Korail". Korail. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  9. ^ "The world's longest metro and subway systems". 9 December 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Underground world: Seoul's 'super highway' v London's 'rude tube'". BBC News. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2013.
  11. ^ Screen doors installed in the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. (5 May 2009). Retrieved on 12 July 2013.
  12. ^ "대중교통 커뮤니티 - SBM (철도, 버스 이용자들의 공간) : 네이버 카페". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  13. ^ "Seoul Metropolitan Subway". Railway Technology. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  14. ^ a b "낙후한 지하철 1~4호선, 첨단 디스플레이 기술로 새단장 나선다" [1-4 outdated subway line, state-of-the-art display technology sets out renovation]. etnews (in Korean). 15 March 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  15. ^ Malang Studio Co. Ltd. "Subway Korea - Android Apps on Google Play".
  16. ^ 문화일보 [Munhwailbo] (16 May 2006). "<오후여담>좌측통행" [<Afternoon digression> left side of the road]. Naver (in Korean). Naver Corp. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  17. ^ "내년 지하철 9호선 마곡나루역 급행역사로 전환". 이데일리. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  18. ^ "Seoul Gimpo Gold Line automated light metro opens". 30 September 2019.
  19. ^ "'추억의 꼬마열차' 수인선 수도권 남서지역 다시 누빈다". 서울일보 (in Korean). 13 September 2020. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  20. ^ Burroughs, David (7 June 2022). "Seoul's Sillim Line rubber-tyred metro opens". International Railway Journal. Retrieved 8 October 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d "Metro Lines & Trains in Operation". Korail. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h 지하철건설현황 [Status of Subway Construction] (in Korean). Seoul City Government. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
  23. ^ "Southern portion of inter-Korean railway to reopen". Hankyoreh. 25 December 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  24. ^ "Final Bundang Line Extension Opens". Kojects. 30 November 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  25. ^ "우이신설도시철도에 오신결 환영합니다". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  26. ^ "무인운전 시스템의 장점" (in Korean). Shinbundang Line & NeoTrans. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  27. ^ "노선안내" (in Korean). Yongin Rapid Transit Corporation. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  28. ^ "사업개요" (in Korean). Uijeongbu LRT Corporation. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  29. ^ 기자, 신진호 (2 January 2022). "수도권 전철과 천안·아산 시내버스 '무료 환승'...알뜰교통카드 나왔다". 중앙일보 (in Korean). Retrieved 10 October 2022.
  30. ^ "신분당선 운임안내" [Sinbundang Line Fare Information]. DX Line (in Korean). Retrieved 9 October 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  31. ^ "9호선/수도권 전철 읍데이트들 - Misc Subway Updates" (Blog). Rick&Nyo. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2012. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)
  32. ^ "Exclusive Tourist Cards". Korea Tourism Organization. 2 August 2018. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  33. ^ "Tmoney Only for Foreigners: We would like to introduce Tmoney for Foreign Tourists". T-Money. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  34. ^ "固贰枚档DB".
  35. ^ "김영선 "대곡-소사 복선전철 사업 예산확보 힘쓸 터"". Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  36. ^ "강동롯데캐슬 퍼스트와 8호선 연장". 네이버 블로그 | 부를 끌어당기는 감각적인 부동산 아티스트.
  37. ^ "서울 경전철 위례선 - 나무위키".
  38. ^ "속도내는 동북선 경전철…2019년 착공". 24 July 2017.
  39. ^ "양주까지 7호선 연결 본격 시작…서울 접근성 기대".
  40. ^ "서울지하철 7호선 청라 연장사업 본궤도 진입…설계 착수". 연합뉴스. 4 May 2020.
  41. ^ ""25분 거리를 10분만에… 지역경제도 살아났으면"… 27일 완전 재개통 앞둔 수인선 시범 운행". 24 February 2016. Retrieved 27 March 2018.
  42. ^ "위례신사선 민자사업, 추진 확정..2021년께 착공 예상". 뉴스핌. 25 October 2018.
  43. ^ a b c d 수정: 2019-02-20 17:58, 기사입력: 20 February 2019 11:00 L. (20 February 2019). "[서울 도시철도망]강북횡단선 등 경전철 6개 노선 신설…서울 교통지도 바뀐다". 이투데이.
  44. ^ "News View :: The World on Arirang".
  45. ^ "2028년까지 목동~청량리 잇는 강북횡단선 등 경전철 6개 노선 신설". 20 February 2019.
  46. ^ "우이신설역 연장 추진 확정, 솔밭공원~방학역 연결". 우먼컨슈머. 21 February 2019.
  47. ^ "[서울 도시철도망] 면목선, 동대문·중랑 상습정체 구간 해소". 뉴스핌. 20 February 2019.
  48. ^ "[서울 도시철도망] 난곡선, 남부순환로 이남 주거 밀집지 연결". 뉴스핌. 20 February 2019.
  49. ^ "[서울 도시철도망] 목동선, 서부서울 철도 사각지대 해소". 뉴스핌. 20 February 2019.
  50. ^ "인천시 철도과, 12월 국토부 '제2차 도시철도망구축계획' 승인 신청". 인천투데이. 16 September 2020.

External links[edit]