The dream of İstanbul for hundred years is about to come true. Two sides of İstanbul will be connected by Bosphorus Tunnel, commonly known as Marmaray Project. Although it’s one of the most important projects of Turkey, there are a number of believes which are not true. Here are the most common false facts about Marmaray Project and Bosphorus Tunnel:
Marmaray is both for trains and cars.
No, Marmaray project is only for the trains. Only railway is laid through the Bosphorus tunnels. There’s another project which is called “Avrasya* Tunnel” for the passing of automobiles under the Bosphorus. The details can be read at “http://www.avrasyatuneli.com”.
Not only metro railcars, but also high speed trains will pass through Bosphorus Tunnel as well.
High speed trains will come till Haydarpaşa as the last stop in İstanbul which is at the Asian side of İstanbul. Although a part of the Marmaray project, the lines between Gebze and Söğütlüçeşme, is planned to be used also by high speed trains, the tunnel is not.
Freight trains can use Bosphorus Tunnel.
It’s already declared that the trains carrying dangerous goods will never be allowed to pass Boshprous tunnel. The passing of other freight trains are still under discussion. The time between the last metro of the day and the first metro of the next day will be very limited in a 24 hours living İstanbul. It’s already told that ferry will be the only option for the freight trains between Asia and Europe at least till the end of 2014.
Passengers will start crossing Bosphorus by trains by August, 2013.
Not really. The trains will start running, but only for trials. The first crossing with passengers will be on 29th of October, 2013.
So, a passenger can reach from Gebze to Halkalı by Marmaray at the end of October 2013.
Unfortunately not. By 28th of October 2013, the first stage of the Marmaray project will end, which is between Kazlicesme and Ayrilikcesme. First stage is covering the underground passing of railcars, where the second stage covers the railway on surface in both Asian and European sides of İstanbul.
Since railway already exists on surface, the rest of Marmaray project will not take so much time.
It will take time. It’s planned to end on 18th of June, 2015. There’s only 2 existing lines, and not appropriate for high speeds. When Marmaray project is completed, there’ll be 3 lines. 2 lines will be for the metro railcars and the other line will be for other trains. High speed trains, although not announced officially, will probably move also on the 3rd line.
Marmaray project delayed a lot, there must be technical problems.
Yes, the first stage of the Marmaray project was supposed to end on 28th of April, 2009. But during the construction, very important archeological ruins discovered, and the project was replanned in parallel with the archeological studies in that area.
The historical discoveries are limited with some dishes.
Far from it. Before this discoveries, the first settlement in this region was thought to be 4500 years ago. During the construction, a grave made 8500 years ago was discovered. A galley from Middle Age, Theodosius Port constructed in early Byzantine Period were some important discoveries during the project. All those will be exhibited in Yenikapi museum-station.
Marmaray is the first railway project to pass through Bosphorus.
It’s the first one constructed, but not the first one planned. In eary 1500’s, Leonarda da Vinci prepared a bridge project over Bosphorus. In 1900, another bridge over Bosphorus is designed by F. Arnodin where wagons were carried on cables. The first tunnel project passing under Bosphorus was prepared in 1876, and belongs to Euqene Henri Gavand, who’s also the engineer of the first funicular metro system in Pera.**
* Avrasya stands for the combination of Europe and Asia in Turkish.
** Ömer Faruk Yılmaz, “Sultan İkinci Abdülhamit Han’ın Boğaziçine Köprü ve Tüp Geçit Projeleri (Bosphorus Bridge and Tunnel Projects of Sultan Abdulhamit Han)”, Osmanlı’da Ulaşım (Transportation in Ottoman)