Seoul City plans to add a total of 10 more subway lines (approximately 90 km) by 2025; 9 more light rail transit (LRT) lines and one extension to an existing subway line. The controversial Wirye – Sinsa LRT section is one of them, having been approved in its original form proposed by Seoul City.
On June 30, Seoul City announced that its proposal, titled “Seoul City Plan to Build Railways,” received final approval from the Ministry of Transportation. The approved additional railway lines include a Sillim Line from Yeouido to Seoul National University, a Dongbuk Line from Wangsimni Station to Sanggye Station, a Myeonmok Line from Cheongryang-ri to Sinnae-dong, a Seobu Line from Saejeol Station to Jangseungbaegi Station, a Wuyi New Extension from Ui-dong to Banghak Station, a Mok-dong Line from Sinwol-dong to Dangsan Station, a Nangok Line from Boramae Park to Nanhyang-dong, four additional stops on Line 9 from Bohun Hospital to Godeok Station and on to Gangil-dong, a Wirye line from Macheon Station to Bokjeong Station and Woonam Station, and a Wirye New Extension from Inside Wirye New Town to Garack Market and on to Sinsa Station.
The Wirye-Sinsa line, which saw opposition from Gangnam-gu Office, it notable as being approved in its original form as proposed by Seoul City. Stretching 14.83 km, the Wirye-Sinsa line connects with Line 3 at Sinsa Station. A total of 11 stations will be constructed for this new line, including 6 transfer stations.
The Wirye-Sinsa Line has been controversial as Gangnam-gu Office disputed the proposal originally submitted by Seoul City and submitted its own suggestion. Seoul City initially proposed a line that goes through a wide area stretching from Wirye New City to Garak Market Station, on to Hakyeowool Station and ending at Sinsa Station. Gangnam-gu Office countered it with a proposal for a line that went through KTX's Suseo Station.
With the exception of Line 9, which is planned to be extended in 4 steps, Seoul decided to have private businesses finance the other 9 sections as LRT lines, and has confirmed the preferred bidders. An LRT train has 3-4 fewer cars than a general subway train, and the maximum capacity of one vehicle is 150 people, half that of a normal subway car.
Editor's Note: Check out this followup article for a map and more detail.