Picture this: a foreign-looking traveller dragging a carry-on luggage on one hand and a guide or a phone on the other hand while trying to follow the signs. Where can this be? Possibly somewhere between Cheonan-Asan KTX (Korea Train eXpress) station and Asan Station of the subway line 1. Don’t feel alone because even Koreans get confused sometimes. These stations are almost on the boundaries of the two cities, thus the shared name of the KTX station.
Note: Cheonan-Asan Station is only for speed trains. Asan Station is for regular trains and subway. They are two different stations located close to each other but with totally different tracks and exits.
First, here is a brief history of the station. Don’t worry, it isn’t a long one since it opened in 2004 and it is relatively new compared to the more-than-a-century-old Cheonan Station. The Asan Station of the Seoul Metro Line 1 connected to the Cheonan-Asan Station opened three years later.
Current Lines. Exclusive for KTX and SRT (Super Rapid Train).
You can make a stop over here on your Busan trip. Catch KTX and SRT trains if you are travelling between Seoul, Mokpo, Gwangju or Busan.
And in case you are wondering what’s the difference between the two, SRT is the most recent high-speed rail service that roughly covers the same major locations as the KTX but originates in the southeastern part of Seoul in Suseo Station. It’s generally said to be faster with competitive prices if compared with KTX and can be a good alternative depending on one’s travel needs.
One thing to keep in mind is that since this KTX Station serves the speed trains KTX and SRT, the trains are faster since they only stop at selected stations and Cheonan-Asan Station is one of them. This station itself is not a very busy one except on certain occasions and holidays.
Now, if you are transferring between the speed trains and the regular trains to get to the western side of the peninsula, we’ll let you in on a not-so-busy shortcut to transfer directly from the speed train platforms to the regular trains and Seoul Metro Line 1 Asan Station. You just have to keep on reading.
Tickets and Schedules.
Train tickets are available at the station itself through the ticket window and online. Please note that KTX and SRT have different websites with English versions if you wish to purchase tickets online.
You can also find mobile apps for both but language support is limited. There are ticket machines with English options in the station if you prefer machine over human interaction. Special tickets are usually released in advance during the two biggest national holidays and the lines would be slightly longer on those days.
Platforms and Exits.
It has 4 platforms: 1 or 2 if heading to Seoul, and 3 or 4 if heading South to Busan or Mokpo. 3 Exits. 1 and 2 on the second floor, and 3 on the ground floor.
Food and other stores.
You can find franchised cafe (Caffe Bene) and bakery (Paris Baguette) along with a couple of restaurants near Exit 2. We’ve also spotted a branch of Nature Republic, Lotteria and a walnut cookie store near Exit 1.
There’s an on-the-go Korean food “fist rice” (jumokbap) around the waiting area before heading out to the platforms going to Seoul. And of course, the convenience store Storynory is also easy to find but if not, just ask the information booth for the “pyeonijeom.”
Amenities and accessibility.
There is an ATM, a paid charging station, and electric-operated lockers. Most of these are on the side across from the ticket windows, Exit number 2.
This station has elevators and escalators for easier access for the elderlies, special-abled persons and for anyone who use strollers and other mobility aids. You can usually find it near the exits so just be on a look out for the sign. There is one behind a coffee shop in Exit 2.
Parking. There are different areas right outside the station and most of which are paid parking per hour or per day.
Buses and Taxis. Regular, Express and University Buses usually stop on the ground floor. Exit 2 opens to the drop off and pick-up ramp for taxis and private cars.
Tips: Transferring between Cheonan-Asan Station and Asan Station.
(KTX/SRT to regular trains and subway.)
There is a shorter transfer route between these two stations without having to go through the main hall. Head to the end of the platform in the KTX station past the glass-walled waiting areas and look for the sign Transfers, Line 1, Mugunghwa, Nuriro, Saemaeul. You will have to buy another ticket at the ticket vending machine which you can also find in the area if you don’t have a T Money card.
If ever that you do need to grab some bite or use the restrooms in the main hall, you can still transfer between stations through the long corridor where a wedding venue along with other wedding-related stores are located. You will hardly see any action on a regular day here but you will definitely see people dressed in Hanboks or other formal attire on any given weekend. The wedding halls and buffet area are hidden behind those closed doors and walls that you will pass by.
You might wonder for a second why on earth would someone choose this venue for a wedding, right? Well, my foreign brain did then — only to realize that one of Korea’s unofficial theme is convenience. It will be easier for people to get to the place if it is right in a station, a speed train station at that!
So if you choose to explore this special hall to transfer between the two stations, do not be surprised to see hanboks on the hallway or find an almost empty one. But if you’d rather step out of the station and explore, there are department stores (Lotte Mart, EMart Traders, Moda Outlet), library, park by the stream, restaurants, and cafes in the vicinity. You can read more about the library or the cafe street to give you an idea.
We hope that you have more ideas about Cheonan-Asan KTX station now so you can stop by on your trip next time and possibly share what you have discovered.