The AREX Express Train is Incheon Airport’s express rail link to downtown Seoul, making the trip from Incheon International Airport Terminal 1 Station to Seoul Station in 43 minutes. With Express fares at KRW 9,000 (~S$10.42) to Seoul Station, it is understandable that people actually prefer the cheaper and more frequent AREX All Stop Train instead with distance-based fares at KRW 4,150 (~S$4.80) instead to Seoul Station, which is more than half the price. Thankfully, I had purchased my AREX Incheon Airport Express Train One Way Ticket in Seoul ticket on KLOOK which only costed me KRW 6,400 (~S$6.19), making it just a small top-up from the AREX All Stop Train fare for better comfort.
From the Arrival Hall, follow the signs to “Airport Railroad” for the AREX trains. This is the same path to the Incheon Airport Maglev Line too.
Heading down the escalator.
The AREX station was surprisingly quite a far walk away that I had expected through lots of airline offices.
After the airline offices, there is a travellator link.
Follow the path to the Airport Railroad.
After the travellator link, there is another curved path with a travellator.
The curved link will lead to the train concourse with a cinema and some fast food options.
The right side of the concourse is for the AREX Express Train. Fares can be paid in cash at the ticket vending machines, manned ticket counter, or by using the Klook T-Money Card or South Korea Railplus Transport Card.
I headed to the manned counter to redeem my KLOOK voucher as I didn’t want to waste time figuring out the ticket vending machine on my first attempt since I have this manned option.
As I was using the KLOOK voucher, I had to pay an additional KRW 500 on the spot for the deposit on the single journey ticket.
My single journey ticket for the AREX Express Train, similar to the ones used throughout the Seoul Metropolitan Subway.
Tapping in through the ticket gates using the single journey ticket.
Heading down to the AREX Express Train platforms.
The departure platform is at Platform 2 on the right.
The timetable of the AREX Express Train. Trains operate at a 40-minute frequency.
The AREX Express Train platform looks quite long.
The information screens shows the position of the next AREX trains arriving along the line.
Certain doors will not open when the All Stop Train stops at the station. I guess the long platform is shared between the two services.
The platform is divided in the middle. As such, despite having 6-car trains on both services, the platform only allows boarding from 4 cars of each train.
Passengers holding seat reservations in Cars 1 and 2 need to board from Car 3 and walk to their coach.
The first train arriving is the All Stop Train. Unfortunately, the information system doesn’t show the name of the train but only the figure of the train, and shows both services simply as bound for Seoul Station instead.
Yup, but not my train though.
The arriving All Stop Train for Seoul Station.
The train doors are fully opened throughout the All Stop Train, but the Express Train platform screen doors do not open.
The opened doors on the All Stop Train platform.
Yes but no.
My AREX Express Train was arriving next.
And here comes my AREX Express Train.
Boarding the AREX Express Train.
The seat layout of Car 3 on board the AREX Express Train.
There is a private individual seat by the gangway.
The legroom on board the AREX Express Train.
The seat pocket on the seat back in front of me features a Korean AREX magazine.
The view of the AREX Express Train from my seat.
This is interesting – I thought Korea dislikes this country.
Heading out of Incheon Airport.
Crossing over the Yeongjong Bridge.
The interior of the AREX Express Train.
Seats on the AREX Express Train are arranged in a 2+2 configuration.
If you are wondering why the train is “empty”, AREX automatically assigns seats by direction of travel, so everyone was facing forward and these “empty” shots are taken for seats in the reverse direction.
Luggage racks are available by the train door.
The Seoul Metropolitan Subway map is pasted on top of the train doors.
The gangway is sealed with glass doors.
Push the button to open doors.
A toilet is available in Car 4.
Push the button to open doors.
The spacious interior of the universally-accessible toilet.
The door lock is controlled electronically.
A baby changing table is also provided in the toilet.
Passing by an Incheon Subway Line 1 train.
Passing through Gyeyang station.
Announcements were made by the AREX stewardess that water is available on board the AREX and to request one from her when she walks through the train. The AREX Express Train includes this bottle of water as part of the train ticket, so remember to request one from the stewardess if you need some water.
Some serious noise barriers around the viaducts.
Crossing over the Han River.
The AREX Express Train also provides a free shuttle bus service to affiliated hotels around Seoul Station.
Heading on the final stretch of at-grade track before entering the tunnels towards Seoul Station.
Ah, there we go. The Japanese hate is real.
Announcements are made in Korean, English, Mandarin and Japanese when arriving in Seoul Station.
Disembarking from the AREX Express Train at Seoul Station.
The platform gap at Seoul Station.
The AREX and Rotem logos on the metal plate by the train doors.
The underground AREX platforms of Seoul Station.
Heading up out of the platforms via the escalator.
Another long set of escalators up.
Here, I figured out which exit to take for my hotel.
Heading down the long AREX transfer linkway.
Oops, wrong airport express train.
At the junction to other train lines, there is a set of transfer fare gates from the AREX. Probably due to the different fare rates that apply.
Tapping my single journey ticket to continue the walk.
Exiting the paid area at the exit fare gates. Refunds can be made at the dedicated machine after these fare gates, but I kept my single journey ticket as a souvenir.
Heading on to my selected exit.
Here, I headed up to my hotel.
Overall, a rather pleasant ride on the AREX Express Train with frills of reserved seating, on-board washrooms and even providing bottled mineral water. With the cheap fare I got off KLOOK, it definitely made it worthwhile to use the AREX Express Train into Seoul. A downside to the AREX Express Train is the long 40-minute frequency, but that can be mitigated if you have the timetable beforehand to know which train you should plan to take, though I would advise you that if you had just missed one, just go and get the All Stop Train to make the arrival time into Seoul earlier anyway.