The most amazing investment in Turkish railways, Marmaray, will not be completed this year.
Marmaray has a budget of 1.6b TL (about € 550m) this year. 1.7b TL investment will be needed in following years. Transportation Minister, Mr Elvan, recently stated that completion may be in 2016.
Here’s the completion status of sections in Marmaray:
Ayrilikcesme-Kazlicesme : Operation started in this section including the tunnel under Bosphorus in 2013. 415m TL will be invested for this section to complete all remaining works.
Pendik-Gebze : This section is a part of 2nd phase of project. Pendik-Gebze was opened last year with 2 lanes and some stations. Thus, Istanbul-Ankara high speed train service is able to run on this line. 3rd line and stations of Marmaray is incompleted in this section. Marmaray service will wait compeletion of Ayrilikcesme-Pendik section first.
Ayrilikcesme-Pendik : This section has priority in 2nd phase of the project. Completion of this section will also provide railway connection to high speed train from city center. Thus, this year’s budget of 950m TL will most probably be spent for this section. Considering this year’s budget, two lanes may be constructed first, and 3rd may be postponed.
Kazlicesme-Halkali : This part of the project is expected to find no fund from this year’s budget. Best chance may be extension of Marmaray with a few new stations after Kazlicesme. This part is planned to be completed in 2016.
Another issue about the project is if the contractor, Spanish company OHL, will continue the constuction works or not. Transportation Minister Mr Elvan had recently stated that OHL may hand over the project to a Turkish company. An inquiry about the remaining works is heard in market. Due to heavy discussions in Turkey, all parties may be happy about this handover.
Photo: Sinem Oztas ©