[Metro] Seoul Station <--> Cheonan "B Rapid" by DeltaEagle

(click on the image to magnify)
Did you know...

There are rapid commuter metro trains between Seoul Station and Cheonan, totally different from the hourly 'Rapids' between Yongsan Station and Cheonan, or from "Mugunghwa" or "Saemaeul" long-distance train which calls at Cheonan.
Although the official designation of the train is no more than "Seoul-Cheonan Rapid", a few people unofficially named it "B-Rapid" to avoid confusion, as the colloquial shortened name "Cheonan Rapid" usually indicates aforementioned hourly Yongsan-Cheonan Rapid train. (thus, the 'A-Rapid') From now on in this article, the former will be addressed as the 'B-Rapid' for the sake of clarity, even though you will NOT be able to find this term in official use and actual capacity.


Of course, there are pros and cons with the 'B-Rapid', too. First of all, it runs only 3 times a day in each direction on weekdays only. (no train for 'B-Rapid' on weekends and public holidays) From Seoul to Cheonan, single run is scheduled in the morning, two in the evening. From Cheonan to Seoul, on the other hand, all 3 runs are assigned in the morning. (see the table below - last updated on March 01, 2014)

From Seoul Station to CheonanFrom Cheonan to Seoul Station
< Weekdays >< Weekdays >
Train No.DepartureArrivalTrain No.DepartureArrival

Second, trains of 'B-Rapid' are recognizable by their destination signboard, where the word "Rapid" is displayed in green as you can see from the photos below. The other regular rapid trains Yongsan-Cheonan display the word in red "Rapid".
The third - and here's the kicker - and the best part is that this train calls at Siheung, Anyang, Gunpo, Uiwang, Suwon, Byeongjeom, Osan, Seojeongni, Pyeongtaek, Seonghwan and Dujeong. There is no stop between Seoul Station and Siheung, therefore the train runs not on the usual metro track but on the dedicated long-distance track for this leg. This enables the train run much faster in this leg, in terms of absolute velocity as well as skipping stops in between, thus cutting the usual journey time of 30 minutes in half. From Siheung and down south, however, the B-Rapid does not give much advantage over A-Rapid as the train makes extra stops for university students along the way in the morning, who in fact, a bigger part of the target customers for the B-Rapid. Still, for a journey between Seoul Station and Suwon, the B-Rapid holds the upper hand by over 15 minutes or so.

Photo Guide (September 2007; descriptions are given under each picture)
The entrance to the 'B-Rapid' platform is within the transfer zone of metro Seoul Station, right next to the validating machines for Exit no. 1. On the right hand side, you can see the exit no. 1 and the way out to the train station. You can see the entrance on the left, which is in fact sealed off for most part of the day.
The frontal view of the entrance. Three blue panels with white sign are indicating "To Rapid Trains For Cheonan."
The notice on the left says that the underground corridor will be open to public from 07:20 to 08:40 and from 18:20 to 19:50 on weekdays and Saturdays only. These intervals are adjusted accordingly as the train schedule is revised over time.
Make notice of the timetable, although this is not the same anymore with what would be on display now. There has been adjustments to the timetable, and changes have been reflected on the table above.
A few stairs up and down, the corridor continues.
Make a right turn.
Then to the left.
Walk up this stairs, and you're on the platform.
This photo shows that the B-Rapid platform is a part of Seoul Train Station, unlike the metro station underground. A Mugunghwa train on the far right is waiting for departure.
A close-up of a B-Rapid train. As explained above, the sign 'Rapid' is in fluorescent green color.
Another look on the LED signboard on the left side.
Classic view of the train and the platform.
The other side of the platform.
The head(locomotive) section of the same train.
An LED board inside the train indicating 'Rapid Train For Cheonan'
This picture requires certain geographic knowledge to understand - the train is on the move barely exiting Seoul Station, yet the next stop is Siheung. (whose name was changed to Geumcheon-gu Office Station since Dec. 2008) You're about to conveniently skip 11 stops in between.
Snapshot of the B-Rapid passing by. An impressive yet unintended shutter-delay effect with the LED signboard could be seen.
This is a frontal view of another B-Rapid vice versa, heading for Seoul Station. This one also has the green 'Rapid' sign up front.
Inside the train for Seoul Station - 'Rapid Train For Seoul Station.' Single difference is that all B-Rapid heading for Seoul Station make a stop at Yeongdeungpo station.


  • Jon Allen 2007/09/25 22:08 # 삭제 답글

    One could not ask for better information.

    On a related topic, perhaps you can help the English speaking locals and tourists by persuading Korail to re-instate the English version of the ticket reservation website. http://english.barota.com now only does Korean.

    It used to be a very useful service, until they turned on a shiny new interface, but removed the English!
  • DeltaEagle 2007/09/27 00:44 # 답글

    Such a shame, isn't it?
  • andy 2009/02/14 01:00 # 삭제 답글

    thank you fot the info,
    nice info...
  • DeltaEagle 2009/02/14 01:35 #

    Andy, there has been a minor change in the timetable (+-20 minutes) since I wrote the original article in 2007. If you see this message, please note that I just updated the timetable with the latest Feb. 2009 information - thus inconsistent with the old one from the photo.
  • cheon_guy 2011/04/24 01:29 # 삭제 답글

    hello, may i just ask, if i take the rapid train from yongsan to cheonan (not cheonan to yongsan) do i wait for it in the track where the ordinary subway trains are loading/unloading? i tried to wait for a rapid train for like 40 minutes but no rapid train came.

    i was able to ride rapid train from cheonan to yongsan though.

    thanks and more power!
  • DeltaEagle 2011/04/24 01:43 #

    Hi. There's a platform dedicated to rapid trains in Yongsan station. I think it's Metro Platform 4, whilst ordinary southbound trains use Platform 2. Both branches of rapid service (one bound for Cheonan, the other for Incheon) use the same 'rapid-only' platform as they both originate from Yongsan.
  • editing se 2014/03/08 18:04 # 삭제 답글

    I really liked your blog about Metro. Metro is very good and new and beautiful train. I want that in my town were the train. Thank you.
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