Have you ever departed from or arrived at Gates 101 to 132 of the Incheon International Airport? If you have, you must have taken this shuttle train ride as well!
I always ride this shuttle train because my flights for Manila, Philippines, use one of those gates. And on my last ride, I decided to take a video. Since the train has no engineer driving it from one point to the other, both ends of the shuttle have windows where you can watch the tunnel through which the train passes.
It's just a short ride, actually. But I guess watching the tunnel and the tracks is a rarity because, if you take the subway train in Seoul, you won't be able to see the path as the front and the end of the trains are the control booth for the engineers running them. Before they installed the platform screen doors at the stations, you can even see the engineers at the front when the train comes into the station. Now, with the platform screen doors, you'd hardly see their faces. Maybe only on some platforms of some stations of the Gyeonggi- Jungang Line, you can still spy on who's running the train.
And speaking of these platform screen doors, the main reason for putting them up was for the safety of the passengers. Some people accidentally fall into the tracks for various reasons, though some not really accidental. Jumping into the train tracks was a common way to commit suicide years ago when there were no barriers to hold anyone back. But I wonder, if anyone wants to commit suicide, why bother buying a train ticket and ruin everyone's day? If someone falls into the tracks to kill himself or herself, the train has to stop and the schedule freezes, delaying the passage of that train and all the trains behind it. It would also hold all passengers up - for those inside the train and for those waiting at the stations, causing them to miss their appointments, classes and meetings.
And how about the trauma of those who were on the platform who witnessed everything? The sight of someone jumping and actually being killed on the tracks is definitely difficult to forget, and even more so for the engineer himself. Seeing the face of person before he or she was run over by his train would always bring nightmares. These engineers actually had to go through some psychiatric counselling. If you watched the Korean movie, The Railroad (Korean title: Gyeongui-seon 경의선). the lead actor suffered that kind of trauma.
(The shuttle arriving at the other end)
I don't know how I ended up talking about subway suicides by just riding the shuttle train of Incheon Airport. I guess the tunnel view along the ride without any other distraction makes one remember all the other stories from riding trains in Seoul.
But there's one feeling I get every time I take this shuttle train to my departure gate. I always feel that this ride makes me one step closer to home. After all, before the train shuttle is the last leg of my journey, the plane ride, the one ride that would eventually bring me home.
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Here's the video of my shuttle train ride leaving the main terminal and heading to my departure gate: