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Old February 12th, 2019, 09:03 AM   #41
kimahrikku1
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Potential Delays to GTX Line C

Alright folks, there could be some delays due to the construction of the GTX Line C.

It's a bit complicated, but here is the story.

The initial plans were, as part of the project, to extend KTX service from Suseo to Uijeongbu through the Yeongdongdaero Transfer Center at Samseong Station, by sharing the line with GTX A on the short Suseo-Samseong section, and with GTX C on the longer Samseong Uijeongbu section. GTX Line A has been approved, and the line will also be used for KTX, so there can/will be some KTX traffic up to Samseong Station.

The issue is north from Samseong Station. The KDI's feasibility study approved the GTX C Line back in December, but only if the line isn't shared with KTX. The reason is that if the line is shared, the frequency of GTX trains would go down significantly, which would make the project much more less viable economically for the company which will run the project (GTX is mostly a privately financed project), and could derail the project. So this means that as it stands, a KTX extension to Uijeongbu would have to be built separately, through another tunnel. As you might expect, this is unlikely to get done, at least right now. Building a second tunnel would be extremely costly, and except if there is a reunification of some sort with North Korea, the extension would only serve a limited number of passengers.

So, right now, unless the final plans for GTX C are changed (to allow track sharing with KTX), which is still possible but fairly unlikely due to the impact on the viability of GTX C, the KTX extension to Uijeongbu will not be built in the near future.

Such a change - with the removal of KTX - would overall reduce the scope of usefulness of the Yeongdongdaero Transfer Center, and changes to the plans. It is likely to cause at least a delay of the bidding and of the start of construction. The target is still to start construction in 2019, and officially the completion date remains unchanged, but it will likely be at least slightly delayed nonetheless.

It may also impact the start of the construction of the Hyundai Global Business Center, although this is not sure.


On a more positive yet very cynical note... mayor Park Won-soon is very likely to make a run for the presidency scheduled for March 2022. Now, this news in and out of itself is not necessarily good news for someone like me, who believes that he is a populist, a demagogue, and overall mostly incompetent. I don't disagree with all his actions but still... I'm rarely on his side.

Nonetheless, what it also means is that ahead of the elections and the primaries (so basically by 2021), he needs to have some tangible results in Seoul. He will have been the mayor for 10 years by then, and overall, we can say that there are as of right now fairly few projects which have been successfully conducted during his administration. There have been some, and the previous administrations were far from perfect either, but he's been doing a whole lot of grandstanding and taking brazen decisions and reversing them a few months later. Now, we're in 2019, and he has basically 2 years to succeed with the Yeongdongdaero / GBC project, the Changdong redevelopment as well as the Gwanghwamun Plaza (which has its own current significant issue with the construction cost allocation for the additional GTX Station). Of course its unlikely these projects will be completed by 2021/2022 (although it's possible for Gwanghamun), but he needs at least to have some projects well under construction to show some success in Seoul to allow him to make a run in 2022.

Recently, there have been other announcements, such as the Gangbuk Circular Subway which was just announced, Yongsan/Yeouido materplans, and full reviews of the Sewoon District 3 redevelopment (of which I could speak at length), but I think that the lack of consistency and realism in some of his recent announcements is starting to hurt his changes and he knows it.

Also, overall, the mood right now in Korea and Seoul is much more pro-developments than it was a few years ago. Recently, there was development fatigue, after the Lee Myung-Bak and Oh Se-hoon administrations in Seoul, and the right-wing presidents as well. Which is why the citizens have favored left-wing candidates which are less infrastructure-focused. But the economy is performing weakly right now, and some of the left-wing policies have been criticized. The government has already adjusted, by increasing infrastructure spending, pushing forward Hyundai GBC project, and getting closer to corporation over the last few months. But I expect the push to continue, including in Seoul. It's interesting how the mood has turned mostly against Euljimyeonok Restaurant in the whole issue of the Sewoon Redevelopment, and how some policies are changing, as for example the 35-floor limits for reconstruction near the Hangang, which are currently being reviewed and will probably be relaxed. With the economy struggling, and the housing prices going down, it's likely that the overall policies of the government and the city will become more development-oriented over the next year or two.

https://news.naver.com/main/read.nhn...aid=0004091407
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Old March 29th, 2019, 05:09 AM   #42
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More not so good news about this project, as the MOLIT, after saying that it does not want / cannot build the KTX line up from Suseo-Uijeongbu, has announced that it will review its decision.

As mentioned before, the project was approved in December by the KDI but without the KTX line, while previous plans has the KTX line included (more precisely, they don't want the KTX and SRT to use the same tunnels, as it would decrease capacity). So the city had to change its detailed plans, which takes around 6 months, which is why the start of construction has already been delayed from around May to the end of the year.

Since there is no immediate reunification, and a KTX line just to go to Uijeongbu (or Yangju / Dongbucheon) would make little economic sense right now, the MOLIT decided not just to cancel / postpone the KTX line, but to also ask for a redesign of the plans for the Yeongdongdaero to remove the tracks and floors dedicated to KTX.

And now, following some strong pushback from Seoul and Gangnam District, MOLIT is apparently thinking about reconsidering its decision. While I perfectly understand why they don't want to build a full line to bring service to Uijeongbu right now, the question is more about the Yeongdongdaero Project section. Due to the MOLIT's initial decision, the plans had been changed and the construction delayed. But if they just build the smaller version of the project and in a few years (especially if relationship with DPRK improve) MOLIT finally decides to build the line again, there would have to work once more on the site of this already complicated project after its orginal completion. This would be inconvenient and not cost-efficient, so Seoul and Gangnam would like the bigger version of the project to be built, even if there is no KTX line and service on the near future.

They estimate that the simpler version of the project (no KTX floors/tracks) would cost around USD 150 to 200 bn fewer than the full version, so that's "only" 10 to 15% of the overall cost of the project saved if they go with the small version. I think it makes more sense to stick to the "big" version, so as to avoid having a very costly second phase of construction afterwards if at some point MOLIT finally decides to connect Suseo to Uijeongbu.

Right now, everything remains unclear, and MOLIT's indecision is slowing down the project and costing the taxpayers.

http://news.g-enews.com/view.php?ud=...190328182351_K
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Old March 29th, 2019, 05:26 AM   #43
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I don't know that a KTX to Uijeongbu that doesn't include plans for, basically, a future KTX to Wonsan is nonsense. Besides, that could easily involve stealing from the GTX service; there's no sense in that.

However, changing perspective and viewing it as not even building that capacity in for the future--when the alternative is to have to spend (proportionally) even more money later, during which there would likely be significant interruptions in service in what is supposed to be a major transit node for the country--just seems like a stupid move. While that does potentially render an investment right now without any justification for it, it doesn't make sense to not prepare for some kind of inter-Korean reconciliation in the distant future.
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Old April 1st, 2019, 04:49 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aquaticko View Post
I don't know that a KTX to Uijeongbu that doesn't include plans for, basically, a future KTX to Wonsan is nonsense. Besides, that could easily involve stealing from the GTX service; there's no sense in that.

However, changing perspective and viewing it as not even building that capacity in for the future--when the alternative is to have to spend (proportionally) even more money later, during which there would likely be significant interruptions in service in what is supposed to be a major transit node for the country--just seems like a stupid move. While that does potentially render an investment right now without any justification for it, it doesn't make sense to not prepare for some kind of inter-Korean reconciliation in the distant future.


The plan is not so much for creating KTX service between Suseo and Uijeongbu, but using the GTX and Yeongdong project as a way to build the necessary infrastructure to build the line to Uijeongbu, and then the Gyeongwon Line to Wonsan. But of course, any service to Wonsan is very hypothetical. Even if there is some additional economic cooperation between South and North Korea, trains would be limited at the beginning to a very limited number of trains between Seoul and Pyongyang. If there is, by any miracle some trains to Wonsan on the Gyeongwon line, it would not be electric KTX. The line would need to be rebuilt entirely at the DMZ, and realigned and electrified in the DPRK section before any KTX can go there. Ultimately that's the ultimate goal, but even if the Koreas were to magically reunify overnight, we would still be years and maybe even decades away from frequent KTX service through Seoul and on to Wonsan.


So at this point, I guess that the MOLIT's hesitation is at least half understandable. My position is mostly the same as yours. Build the Yeongdongdaero section for KTX but don't build the rest of the KTX line to Uijeongbu just yet.
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Old June 10th, 2019, 08:04 AM   #45
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Approval of the project by central Government

The project has officially been approved today by the central government.

As I previously explained, the project was held down by GTX C and KTX. To sum up, the initial plans had the KTX line extended from Suseo to Uijeongbu, with the KTX line sharing tracks with GTX C. But, GTX C was finally approved last year, but without track sharing with KTX. So the KTX line's status is in doubts. Extending the line to Uijeongbu was always a question mark, as the ultimate goal was to reach into North Korea, which given the uncertainties over the inter-Korean relations, might not be done any time soon.

So, right now the new plan was approved without the KTX line. The transfer center will therefore just have the GTX A, GTX C and Wirye-Sinsa line, as well as the existing lines 2 and 9, plus transfer centers for buses and taxis, with "only" 5 underground floors. There is apparently still an option for the KTX to be added to the transfer station, but the central government wants to receive the final Planning Study of GTX C, which will be done, before deciding whether or not to completely remove the KTX from the plans or not.

In any case, with this approval, the start of construction is now planned for December 2019.

In other related news for the GTX C project, recently, the Value for Money Study on the GTX C build-transfer-lease (BTL) was approved by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, earlier than expected. Before this announcement, the line was expected to start construction in late 2021, but it might get pushed up to early 2021. I'm sure there will be additional delays along the line, but it's sufficiently rare to mention it when such a project suddenly moves faster than initially planned.



http://biz.chosun.com/site/data/html...061001296.html



https://www.yna.co.kr/view/AKR201906...04?input=1195m
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Old June 10th, 2019, 09:28 AM   #46
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Awesome. This and Hyundai's GBC together will be world class.
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Old June 13th, 2019, 03:53 AM   #47
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English-language article from the Korea Times:

Quote:
Enormous underground transit terminal to be built in Gangnam


Massive underground public transit terminal will be established in Gangnam by 2023.

A massive underground public transit terminal will be established in Gangnam, southern Seoul, by 2023.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Monday that the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport approved the city government's project to build the center.

Projected to be the nation's largest multi-purpose underground complex, it will be located between Samseong Station on Line 2 and Bongeunsa Station on Line 9 under a 630-meter section of the Yeongdong-daero thoroughfare running through one of Seoul's busiest districts.

The mammoth complex, spanning 160,000 square meters, which is 30 times bigger than Jamsil Baseball Stadium, will be comprised of six basement floors, serving as a multifunctional, cultural and retail space.

It will be serving as a junction of five means of transport ― bus, taxi, subway, Great Train Express (GTX) and the light rail transit (LRT) Wirye-Sinsa Line.

The GTX is an express train service designed to shorten the time for commuters coming from the outskirts of Seoul to central areas. Unlike regular subways, it will travel at speeds up to 180 kilometers per hour, shortening travel times by 70 to 80 percent. Three GTX lines will link southern and northern parts of Gyeonggi Province with Seoul, and two of the three lines, A and C, will pass through the transit center.

The LRT is planned to link Wirye New Town in southern Gyeonggi Province with Sinsa Station in southern Seoul to facilitate Wirye residents' commute.

Besides the newly built lines, the terminal will be connected to metro lines 2 and 9 and have bus stops for 52 buses as well as taxi stands.

The city government expects more than 600,000 passengers will use the massive underground complex every day, which is nearly double the number of Seoul Station users. The length of time spent transferring from one kind of transportation to another will be slashed drastically, as passengers using the subway at the complex will make their way up to the bus stops within two minutes on average.

The complex will also house cultural facilities including an exhibition hall, museum, library, shops and restaurants.

As a part of the urban planning project, the underground complex will be connected with the COEX shopping mall and Hyundai Motor Group's new headquarters. Seoul City also expects the zone outside COEX will play a role as a square in which many people gather in Gangnam, similar to Gwanghwamun Square in central Seoul.

"We will continue to cooperate with the ministry to develop and complete the construction successfully so that many citizens can visit and use the terminal as soon as possible," a Seoul City official said in a statement.
http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nati...81_270487.html
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Old June 13th, 2019, 03:51 PM   #48
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Just going to keep my fingers crossed that a.) they also build that Lightwalk above the complex exactly as shown so far, and b.) the GTX C plans suggest extending KTX service from Suseo into Gangnam. It seems like way too big of an opportunity to miss.
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Old July 15th, 2019, 04:37 AM   #49
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Updated timeline for the bids:

According to this article, the bidding with the construction companies for the contracting of this project will begin in August, and be completed by November 28th.

Construction could begin by the end of this year, almost as soon as the contractors are selected.

https://n.news.naver.com/article/277/0004500327
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Old November 18th, 2019, 09:37 AM   #50
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There have been additional delays in the project (which I usually don't report for my own sanity).

So here is the latest from the news article from the specialized press a couple of weeks ago:

The tenders are now scheduled to be released by December. The bidding process will then last a few months and the city is targeting a start of construction by March-April. As in the previous plans, there will be 4 bids for 4 separate sections of the projects.

With previous delays in this project, we should nonetheless be careful about risks of additional delays.

http://www.cnews.co.kr/uhtml/read.js...51403068870138
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