“The track is clearly visible”…I met the passengers flocking to the unmanned ‘Silrim Line’

On the morning of the 29th, passengers on the Sillim Line in Seoul look out the window. By Woo Tae-kyung

wow that’s really weird You can see all the subway tracks.

On the 29th, Seoul’s No. 2 light rail ‘Silim Line’ room. The inside was full of outing crowds, hikers, and spectators who came to see the new train. At the end of the train, where you can see the tracks clearly, as there is no engine room due to the unmanned operation, passengers lined up looking out the window as if it were an amusement park. Occasionally, there were shouts of wonder and the sound of the camera shutter. It opened the day before and met users directly on the Sillim Line connecting Yeouido Saetgang Station and Seoul National University Gwanaksan Station (7.8km).

The long-awaited wish of the residents of the southwestern part of Seoul has come true… “Expectation for transportation improvement”

Citizens are using the train on the morning of the 29th, the second day of the opening of the Sillim Line in Seoul. By Woo Tae-kyung

Since the last station of the Sillim Line (Gwanaksan Station) is close to Gwanaksan Mountain, most of the passengers on holidays wore colorful hiking clothes. Jeong Hae-kwon (76), who used the Sillim Line, said, “I got curious when I heard the news that the light rail was newly opened, but in the morning the train was very crowded with hikers.” Yugi-dong, 62, who came to climb with his wife, gave a thumbs up saying, “(Silrim Seon-eun) is a very convenient route for hikers looking for Gwanaksan or Samseongsan.”

Residents of the southwestern part of Seoul, where subway access was relatively poor, welcomed the Sillim Line with open arms. Lee Seung-sang (40), who lives near Seoul National University Venture Town Station, said, “In the meantime, to go home, I had to transfer to a village bus at the subway station, but now I can go home by just taking the subway.” “For the past five years, residents have been eagerly waiting for the opening of the Sillim Line,” said Koo Ae-shim, 64, who lives near the Sillim Intersection. said.

High congestion and fear of “stepping on the Ui Sinseol Line”

On the morning of the 29th, citizens are using the Seoul Sillim Line. By Woo Tae-kyung

On the other hand, concerns have been raised about the congestion level as the train is smaller than expected. Cho Yong-su (66), a resident of Sillim-dong, complained, “Even though it is called a light rail, it is a line that passes through densely populated areas, and the number of people seems to be set too small.” Since the Sillim Line has only 3 carriages per train, it can accommodate up to 48 people and only 220 standing seats (capacity of 110 people). The left and right width is 2.4m, which is about 1m narrower than the existing train.

There were also comments about the lack of ride comfort. Jeonghan-sik (66) said, “The ride was not good because the train shook a lot as it passed on a winding road.” The Sillim Line is designed along the Dorim Stream and has relatively many sharp curves. As a result of this, the train shook violently, and on this day as well, standing passengers were found staggering and saying “Uh-huh” several times. Pregnant women and the elderly were using only two seats per train.

Concerns have been raised that the Sillim Line will follow the previously opened Ui Sinseol Line as more elderly people who benefit from free rides use it. Jang Dong-hwan (29), a graduate student at Seoul National University, said, “The campus is wide and students have to take a shuttle bus to get to the classroom, so I don’t think many students use it. I think we have to watch,” he said. The Ui Sinseol Line, the first light rail in Seoul, opened in 2017, has a free ride rate of 30%, which is about twice as high as other subways in downtown Seoul, so it has been in deficit for five years since opening.

Passengers disembark at Gwanaksan Station on the Sillim Line in Seoul on the afternoon of the 29th. By Woo Tae-kyung

Taekyung Woo reporter

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