Marmaray project

The railway project connecting national rail network in Asian and European side through a rail tunnel under Bosphorus.

Marmaray is planned to be the backbone of public transport in Istanbul city. The suburban trains on Marmaray will run every 2 minutes in peak times and Marmaray will be connected to many existing, under construction and planned metro lines in two sides of Istanbul.

Not only suburban trains will run on Marmaray, but also high speed trains and conventional passenger trains will use it to access Haydarpasa, the main station in Asian side.

Marmaray will also be used by international and domestic freight trains crossing Bosphorus.

Project Details

Project owner: TCDD (Turkish State Railways)


Bosphorus pass: Taisei/Kumagei-Gama-Nurol
Surface lines: OHL-Dimetronic

Length: 76.6 km

Commission date: December 2017

Rolling stock: 50 sets – 440 cars (Hyundai Eurotem)

Project cost: TL 12.15 bn (€ 4 bn)


Marmaray Projesi Güzergahı


Gebze-Pendik: 19 km. Three tracks on surface. Two of them completed and started to be used by high speed trains beginning from 25 July 2014.

Pendik-Ayrılıkçeşme: 24 km. Three tracks on surface. Expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

Ayrılıkçeşme-Kazlıçeşme: 13 km. The section under ground including the tube under Bosphorus. Double track. Completed on 29 October 2013. Marmaray suburban trains started running on this section, calling at 5 stations (Kazlıçeşme-Yenikapı-Sirkeci-Üsküdar-Ayrılıkçeşmesi).

Kazlıçeşme-Halkalı: 19 km. Three tracks on surface. Expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

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Train Services

Suburban trains: Will run between Gebze-Halkalı during 06:00-24:00, every two minutes in peak times.

High speed trains: High speed trains from Istanbul will be able to depart from Haydarpasa.

Conventional passenger trains: Regional train between İstanbul-Adapazarı and maybe some overnight trains will depart from Haydarpaşa.

Freight trains: The freight trains except the ones carrying dangerous goods or with open loads will be able to cross Bosphorus during midnight when suburban trains do not run.

Frequently asked questions about Marmaray Project

Stations and connections

Halkalı – Halkalı-Kirazlı metro (tender process started)
Küçükçekmece – Metrobus
Ataköy – Ataköy-İkitelli metro (under construction)
Bakırköy – Bakırköy-Kirazlı metro (tender process started)
Yenikapı – Yenikapı-Hacıosman and Yenikapı-Atatürk Airport/Kirazlı metro
Sirkeci – Kabataş-Bağcılar tram
Üsküdar – Üsküdar-Ümraniye-Çekmeköy metro (under construction)
Ayrılıkçeşmesi – Kadıköy-Kartal metro
Söğütlüçeşme – Metrobus
Göztepe – Göztepe-Ümraniye metro (tender process started)
Bostancı – Bostancı-Dudullu metro (under construction)
Pendik – Pendik-Kaynarca metro (planned)
Tuzla – Kaynarca-Tuzla metro (planned)
Gebze – Gebze-Darıca tramvayı (planned)

Distance between stations: Min 760 meter, max 3900 meter.

Travel time

Ayrılıkçeşmesi-Kazlıçeşme: 18 min
Üsküdar-Sirkeci: 4 min
Bostancı-Bakırköy: 37 min (planned)
Gebze-Halkalı: 105 min (planned)

Frequency: Every 10 min (every 2 minutes in peak times after project completed)


2014: 43.7 mn
2015: 60.9 mn
2016: 26.9 mn(first 5 months)

Hedef: 550 mn/year

Is Marmaray Key for Europe-Asia Rail Connection?


1998: Preliminary analysis completed

1999: Contract signed with JBIC to fund the project

2000: Avrasyaconsult awarded for consultancy

5 Aug 2002: Tender process started for Bosphorus Pass phase.

May 2004: Taisei/Kumagei-Gama-Nurol awarded for construction of Bosphorus Pass.

9 May 2004: Construction started. Target date: Jan 2009.

16 Oct 2008: Hyundai Rotem awarded for 440-cars-tender of Marmaray (€ 520 mn).

8 Mar 2011: Five offers delivered for second phase of Marmaray (surface lines).  Best offer from OHL-Dimetronic (€ 1.04 bn).

26 Oct 2011: Contract inked with OHL-Dimetronic. Target date: June 2015.

29 Apr 2012: Pendik-Gebze suburban service ended.

1 Mar 2013: Kazlıçeşme-Halkalı suburban service ended.

19 Jun 2013: Haydarpaşa-Pendik suburban service ended.

4 Aug 2013: First test run through Marmaray tunnel.

29 Oct 2013: Commercial runs started betwleen Ayrılıkçeşmesi-Kazlıçeşme including Bosphorus Pass.

Nov 2013: Frequent breakdowns and electric failures caused discussions.

Nov 2015: Agreement with OHL about new commission date. December 2017 instead of June 2015.

12 Apr 2016: First accident of Marmaray. One car derailed. No injury or death.

TL 8.6 bn (€ 2.8 bn) spend for project until end of 2015.

August 2016: Completion rate of 2nd phase was announced as 39.65%. Target commission date updated: 10 Feb 2018.

Official Website

Cover Photo: Wikipedia

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2 thoughts on “Marmaray project

  1. Very much enjoyed perusing your blog about Turkish railways — a subject about which I know little, unfortunately! But from what you’ve written and from the little I’ve read over the past year or so, Turkey is now an exciting place to be for the railway buff! The tunnel under the Straits linking Europe and Asia is a wonderful development, given that it brings rail freight transportation between China and Europe on step closer!

  2. Once again, thanks for the update on these remarkable construction projects — projects that should shorten the distance between European and Asian railway networks!

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