Marmaray project is taking interest of many people from Turkey and outside who wants to travel or carry load between Europe and Asia. Here are the most frequently asked questions about Marmaray Project and answers:
What is Marmaray project?
Marmaray project is the project of connecting national rail network at European and Asian sides of Turkey with a tunnel under Bosphorus for continuous passenger and freight flow by rail. It starts at Halkali at European side, crosses Bosphorus and ends at Gebze. It’s totally 76 km long, 63 km of which is on surface and rest under ground.
How is the route?
Route of Marmaray Project can be seen at above map. It starts at Halkali in European side of Istanbul, goes under Bosphorus via Marmaray Tunnel and reaches to Gebze in Asian side.
What’ll be done by project?
There are three important steps taken within the scope of the project:
Construction of a rail tunnel with double track under Bosphorus connecting Europe and Asia
Removal of double track surface lines going through the city from east to west in both sides of Istanbul and construction of three lines instead.
Reconstruction of stations in the city for fast and high capacity suburban service.
Why three tracks?
Two tracks will densely be used by suburban service (Marmaray). Third line will be used by high speed train and other trains.
What’s the last status in the project?
13-km-long Bosphorus crossing via tunnel opened on 29th October 2013. Marmaray trains are giving service along Ayrilicesmesi (Kadikoy), Uskudar, Sirkeci, Yenikapi, Kazlicesme stations (blue line).
Two of three tracks were completed in Pendik-Gebze section in July 2014 and high speed and conventional passenger trains started running. Construction works for third track continues (green line).
Construction works continue on 43-km-long Ayrilikcesmesi-Pendik section in Asian side (green dots).
Construction works continue on 19-km-long Halkali-Kazlicesme section in European side (red dots).
When will the project be commissioned?
The whole project is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2017.
Where can be travelled by Marmaray?
Marmaray suburban trains will go parallel to sea between west and east end of Istanbul. Marmaray trains are currently giving service between Ayrilikcesmesi-Kazlicesme (stations 27-31). Trains will call at below stations when whole project completed:
Gebze (Interchange station for high speed train and Gebze-Darica tram under construction) – Osmangazi – Fatih – Çayırova – Tuzla – İçmeler – Aydıntepe – Güzelyalı – Tersane – Kaynarca – Pendik (Interchange station for high speed train and Pendik-Kaynarca-Sabiha Gokcen Airport metro under construction) – Yunus – Kartal – Başak – Atalar – Cevizli – Maltepe – Süreyyaplajı – İdealtepe – Küçükyalı – Bostancı (Interchange station for sea bus and Bostanci-Dudullu metro under construction) – Suadiye – Erenköy – Göztepe – Feneryolu – Söğütlüçeşme (Interchange station for metrobus) – Ayrılıkçeşmesi (Interchange station for Kadikoy-Kartal metro) – Üsküdar (Interchange station for ferries and Uskudar-Sancaktepe metro which will be completed in 2017) – Sirkeci (Interchange station for ferries and Kabatas-Bagcilar tram) – Yenikapı (Interchange station for Yenikapi-Airport, Yenikapi-Hacıosman metros, sea bus and Yenikapi-Incirli metro under construction) – Kazlıçeşme – Zeytinburnu – Yenimahalle – Bakırköy – Ataköy – Yeşilyurt – Yeşilköy – Florya – Küçükçekmece (Interchange station for metrobusa) – Mustafakemal – Halkalı
What’s travel time?
Travel between Kazlicesme-Ayrilikcesmesi currently lasts 18 minutes.
When project is commissioned, the service between Gebze and Halkali will last 105 minutes.
Will Marmaray be extended to Ispartakule?
That will be a cheap and efficient solution since Istanbul extends to west very fast. A project which increases the current single track to four track is ready. But that project won’t probably start before electrification and signalization projects completed between Halkali-Cerkezkoy. Thus, Ispartakule will wait at least 4-5 years before meeting Marmaray trains.
Will high speed trains use this line?
High speed trains will arrive Haydarpasa using one track of Marmaray Project in Asian side, but won’t pass through Marmaray Tunnel.
There’s another project for bringing high speed trains to European side, on a completely new high speed line following Kosekoy-3rd Bosphorus Bridge-3rd Airport-Halkali.
Can freight trains use these tracks?
Yes. Freight trains except the ones carrying dangerous goods or open goods, will be allowed to run through Marmaray tunnel after midnight when Marmaray suburban trains do not give service.
Cover Photo: Onur Uysal ©