Wolmi Monorail

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Wolmi Monorail (월미은하레일, Wolmi eunha leil), formerly known as Wolmi Galaxy Rail, is a monorail under construction on the island of Wolmido in Incheon, South Korea. 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 and the Suin Line.[1] 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.[1] If opened, the system would have been 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.[2]

The project was started in 2007, where it was originally designed to be a major monorail carrying 70 passengers. The line was scheduled to open in March 2010,[3] but opening has been repeatedly postponed.[4] 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] In 2011, Joongang Daily reported that construction had been indefinitely suspended due to "colossal corruption",[7] and that what had been built was set to be demolished due to "safety issues".[8] A technical inspection in May 2013 revealed numerous unresolved safety issues.[9] In August 2014, it was announced that the monorail was unsafe and the project would be abandoned.[10]

The cost of the entire system, originally estimated at US$60 million,[11] had risen to 110 billion Korean won (approx. US$100 million) before construction was suspended. A revised plan in 2015 cut the size of the trains to carrying 24 passengers. Construction based on the revised plan began in February 2015 and will complete in Fall 2016.[12]

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