New Automation System to Speed up Subway TrainsOn July 27th, the Ministry of Construction and Transportation stated that it will incorporate the Moving Block System into Seoul's underground subway, reducing commute times by almost half. The Moving Block System, or MBS, is a more computerized system tracking every train moving in the entire subway line, allowing trains to travel faster, with smaller intervals between trains as well as remote braking control. This system will speed up the entire system by an estimated 60 percent.
For example, the time from Seoul Station to Chongyangni Station (15.8km in distance) is expected to be cut almost in half, from 15 minutes to eight minutes. From Seoul Station to Uijongbu Station, one of the most northern stations and a distance of 26.4 km, the commute time, which now takes 51 minutes, will likely be done in 27 minutes. The commute from Suso to Ori in the southern suburbs will only take 15 minutes when the new system becomes fully integrated.
The older National Railway subway line, including the Wangshimni-Suwon route, is scheduled to have the MBS system installed and running by the year 2008.
Finally, in keeping with the times, the Ministry also said that plans to put cars with computers with Internet access on the trains travelling through Seoul, or Internet cafes on wheels, will become reality very soon.
by Kim Tae-jin