Seoul, Korea


Korea's capital has one of the worlds best public transit systems. The back bone of the system is the Subway which is operated as a joint venture by three organisations:

The system is comprised of 8 core subway lines; Lines 1 - 4 being jointly operated by Korail & Seoul Metro whilst Lines 5 - 8 are operated soley by SMRT. Lines 1 - 4 are the oldest and busiest on the system and are operated by 10 car EMU's with guards. These lines are underground in Central Seoul but come to the surface to cross the Han Gang (River) and in outer sections of the lines. The SMRT lines operate totally underground with the exceptions of crossing the Han Gang and stabling at the depots. Their 8 car EMU's also operate without guards. Other lines that make up the network are the Yongsan - Deokso (Jungang), and Seolleng - Bojeong (Bundang) suburban lines operated by Korail and the Incheon Subway operated by the Incheon Rapid Transit Corporation.

Stations and trains are always scrupulously clean, excellent signage and maps of the local station area is provided in both English and Korean, and all subway station exits are numbered to make finding your location easier. All on board station announcements are also made in both Korean & English.

Seoul buses are also very good though unlike the subway, destinations both at stops and on buses themselves are in Korean only. All buses with the exception of a few brand new Iveco articulated Irisbuses, are of Korean build being mostly Hyundai and Daewoo vehicles. An interesting feature of most of Seoul's buses is the use of a sliding centre doors as opposed to the more common 2 or 4 leaf glide away jacknife style doors. Most vehicles also are provided with fully manual 4 or 5 speed transmissions. There are four main types of route services in Seoul with all buses painted in the appropriate colour, these being:

Information on Seoul's buses can be found at Seoul Metropolitan Government's website. There is a very useful interactive map here where information about the various types of routes and their maps can be obtained. The interactive map works only with Internet Explorer.

Most regular uses of transit in Seoul utilise the T-Money stored value smart card system. Cards are available at most convenience stores and all subway stations for purchase. Cards can also be topped up at these locations. Users must tag on and tag off on both the subway and buses. For T-Money card holders there is a ₩ 100 discount on each trip, and get a free transfer between modes. Non smart card pay ₩ 1000 for most short journeys up to ₩ 2200 for longer subway trips. Users can purchase tickets from either machines or staff at subway stations, or deposit the required fare in the box beside the driver when boarding. Unlike similar farebox systems in use in North America, these drivers do give change within reason.

While unfortunately there is no multi-modal day ticket available for the enthusiast fares are cheap enough to make do for a 1 - 2 day visit. Anyone visiting Seoul for longer periods should think about using the T-Money smart card system.

Information on this page compiled with the assistance of UrbanRail.Net and Wikipedia.

Photo Gallery

BusesDaewoo BS106 on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007.
Daewoo BS106 on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007
Daewoo BS106 and Daewoo BH115E on a Red Express route on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007
Hyundai New Super Aero City on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007
Hyundai New Super Aero City on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007
Hyundai New Super Aero City on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007.
Rear view of Hyundai New Super Aero City on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City on Han-gangno in Yongsan-gu. 21/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City climbing Sowol-gil near Han-gangjin Subway Stn. 21/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City heads down Sowol-gil in Yongsan-gu. 22/01/2007.
Rear view of Hyundai New Super Aero City . 23/01/2007.
Inside Daewoo BS106 on Itaewonno. 26/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City and a Daewoo BH115E at Namdaemun Gate. 29/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City Low Floor at Namdaemun Gate. 29/01/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City 7144 leaving Gangnam Station on Gangnamdaero. 07/07/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City 1858 arriving at Kyobo Tower Saegori stop on Gangnamdaero. 08/07/2007.
G-Bus 1215 Daewoo BH115E arriving at Kyobo Tower Saegori stop on Gangnamdaero. 08/07/2007.
G-Bus 1540 Daewoo BH115E arriving at Kyobo Tower Saegori stop on Gangnamdaero. 08/07/2007.
Rear view of Hyundai New Super Aero City 2024 at Kyobo Tower Saegori. 08/07/2007.
Daewoo BH115E 2171 passing Sejeong Cultural Centre on Sejeongno near Gyeongbokgung Palace. 08/07/2007.
Daewoo BS106 3661 on a green local service waits for the lights at Baeng Baeng Saegori. 09/07/2007.
Daewoo BS106 1907 on a green local service on Gangnamdaero. 09/07/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City 9199 on Bong-Eun Sa-Ro. 09/07/2007.
A Daewoo BH115E on a Red Express and a Hyundai New Super Aero City on Trunk route 462 near Yangjae Station. 09/07/2007.
A hand full of these Iveco CityClass Articulated are gradually being introduced on some of the more overcrowded routes. This one is loading at Baeng Baeng Sagori. 12/07/2007.
An Iveco CityClass Articulated heads north from Yangjae Station. 12/07/2007.
G-Bus Daewoo BH115E and a line of Hyundai's wait to access Nonhyeon bus stop late in the evening during a break in a typical Seoul summer downfall. 12/07/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City 4462 on a green local service and a similar vehicle on a blue trunk service prepare to stop near Sincheon station. 22/07/2007.
Hyundai New Super Aero City 9531 terminating on route 402 at Suseo Station. 27/07/2007.
Seoul SubwayKorail set arrives at Sindorim on Line 1. 21/01/2007.
Korail set at Incheon, terminus of one of the southern branches of Line 1. 04/02/2007.
One of Korail's almost brand new sets at Incheon terminus. 04/02/2007.
Korail set departing Incheon. 04/02/2007.
Korail set terminating at Chang-Dong. 08/07/2007.
Korail set departing Geumjeong for Cheonan. 14/07/2007.
Korail set arriving at Geumjeong. 14/07/2007.
Korail set departing from Hoegl. 28/07/2007.
Korail set arriving at Hoegl besides a 'Mugungwha' diesel hauled service heading for Seoul Station. 28/07/2007.
Korail set pulls away from Sinseol-Dong with a Line 1 Service for Incheon. 08/07/2007.
Korail set waits at Soyosan, the northern terminus of Line 1.
Seoul Metro set operating an 'Outer Circle' Line 2 service departing Nakseongdae. 21/01/2007.
Movie clip arriving and terminating at Chang-Dong Stn on Line 1. 08/07/2007.
Movie clip travelling between Banghak and Dobongsan Stns on Line 1. 08/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set arriving at City Hall on an Inner Circle Service. 27/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set at Seongsu operating the Sinseol-Dong branch on Line 2. 08/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set at Seongsu on an Outer Circle Line 2 service. 08/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set departing Sincheon on an Outer Circle Line 2 service. 12/07/2007.
A view of Sincheon Stn with train on the Inner Circle platform. 27/07/2007.
An EMU arrives at Sincheon. This is currently the oldest class operating on the network. 27/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set arriving at Sincheon with an Inner Circle Service. 27/07/2007.
Seoul Metro departing Yaksu on Line 3. 22/01/2007.
Seoul Metro arriving at Oksu on Line 3. 04/02/2007.
Seoul Metro set arriving at Daegok on Line 3 enroute to Daehwa. 08/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set arriving at Daegok on Line 3 enroute to Suseo. 08/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set departing Daegok on Line 3. 08/07/2007.
Seoul Metro set departing Daegok on Line 3. 08/07/2007.
A Seoul Metro set has just arrived at the northern terminus of line 3, Daehwa. 08/07/2007.
Another view of the same 10 car set at Daehwa. 08/07/2007.
View of the front of a Line 3 set about to depart Jogno Stn near the Insa-Dong district. 15/07/2007.
A Line 3 set arriving at Seoul National Univerity of Education. This is one of the busiest transfer points on the network. 27/07/2007.
Seoul Metro Line 4 set heads into the tunnel just south of Dongjak Stn. 21/01/2007.
Korail Line 4 set departing Dongjak. 21/01/2007.
Two Seoul Metro Line 4 sets pass while crossing the Han-gang, just north of Dongjak Stn. 21/01/2007.
Seoul Metro Line 4 set arriving at Dongjak. 21/01/2007.
Waiting to board a Line 4 train at Samgakji. 22/01/2007.
Seoul Metro set departing Sookmyung Women's University. 22/01/2007.
Southbound Line 4 train arriving at Sookmyung Women's University Stn. 23/01/2007.
A Korail set lays over in a siding beside Ansan Stn. 14/07/2007.
A Korail set departs Ansan bound for Oido. 14/07/2007.
A newer Korail set terminating at Ansan. 14/07/2007.
A newer Line 4 Korail set departing Geumjeong, transfer point for Line 1 trains to Cheonan. 14/07/2007.
A Korail Line 4 set is about to depart the southern terminus of Oido. 14/07/2007.
A Korail Line 4 is heading for the stabling sidings just to the south of Oido Stn. 14/07/2007.
A Korail Line 4 arriving at Oido Stn. 14/07/2007.
A Seoul Metro set arriving at Chang-Dong on a Line 4 service to Sadang. 27/07/2007.
A Seoul Metro set arriving at Chang-Dong on a Line 4 service to Ansan. 27/07/2007.
A Seoul Metro set arriving at Chang-Dong on a Line 4 service to Dangoggae. 27/07/2007.
A Seoul Metro set is about to depart from the northern terminus of Line 4, Danggogae. 27/07/2007.
SMRT Line 6 train leaving Hangangjin Stn. 21/01/2007.
Another view of a Line 6 train heading west from Hangangjin. 21/01/2007.
Another SMRT Line 6 train leaving Hangangjin Stn. 21/01/2007.
Interior view of Line 6 car 6824. 21/01/2007.
A westbound Line 6 set loading at Samgakji. 23/01/2007.
Line 6 EMU departing Samgakji. 23/01/2007.
An eastbound Line 6 train at Samgakji, with drivers observation mirror and tv monitor visible. 23/01/2007.
Another Line 6 train awaiting departure from Samgakji Stn. 23/01/2007.
A Line 6 EMU approaching Yaksu Stn westbound.23/01/2007.
View of a Line 7 SMRT set at Gunja Stn. 23/01/2007.
An SMRT set heads for the reversing sidings at Amsa, the northern terminus of Line 8. 27/07/2007.
After shunting in the sidings, set 8107 prepares to head for Moran on a Line 8 service. 27/07/2007.
A Korail set terminating at Ori, on a shortworking to the 2nd last stop on the Bundang Line. 27/07/2007.
A Korail set terminating at Ori, on a shortworking to the 2nd last stop on the Bundang Line. 27/07/2007.
Korail set arriving at Ori on a Bundang Line service to Seolleung. 27/07/2007.
Korail set at Seolleung about to head for the reversing sidings on the Bundang Line. 27/07/2007.
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Page last updated 01/09/2007, © 2007 Anthony Leith