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 Cheonan||From Cheonan to Seoul Station|
|< Weekdays >||< Weekdays >|
|Train No.||Departure||Arrival||Train No.||Departure||Arrival|
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)