Urban Transport

Golden Horn tram to start soon

First phase of Golden Horn will be commissioned in January 2021.

The first phase of Eminonu-Alibeykoy tram to give service along Golden Horn will be commissioned between Cibali-Alibeykoy in January 2021.

T5 Eminonu-Alibeykoy tram

Tourists in summer, students in winter

The tram service will be the 5th tram in Istanbul, thus is named as T5. It’ll start at Eminonu, next to Galata Bridge, go along Golden Horn and end at Alibeykoy main bus stop. Passengers will have the chance to watch the beautiful view of Golden Horn during trip while going through historical regions like Fener, Balat.

Eminönü Alibeyköy tram route

Tram service will go by 8 university campus, Istanbul Ticaret, Medipol, Kadir Has, Yıldız Teknik, Istanbul Ayvansaray, Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim, Bilgi and Bezmialem universities.

Service to start from Cibali for now

In January 2021, not the whole line, but Cibali-Alibeykoy part will be commissioned. The tram will reach to Eminonu, Istanbul’s leading commercial and touristic region later. The pass under Ataturk (Unkapani) bridge has not been solved yet. A tender was opened for Unkapani junction which is quite old, but project was not well for tram pass , thus cancelled. New project allows a separete tunnel for tram, which will also be used by pedestrians and bicycles.

Unkapanı junction project

Since tram will depart from Cibali for a while, interchange to Istanbul’s busiest metro, busiest tram, ferries, boats and Marmaray will not be easy. Until first two stops open, solutions like free shuttle are needed.

14 stations, 5 interchange

T5 Eminönü-Alibeyköy tram

12 of the 14 stations will open in January.

Remaining 2 stations are Eminonu and Kucukpazar. From Eminonu, interchange to T1 tram, ferries and boats crossing Bosphorus and even to Marmaray is possible. From Kucukpazar, interchange to M2 metro is possible.

At Ayvansaray, metrobus stop is in walking distance.

Cable car station to Pierre Loti is next to tram station.

Interchange to M7 which has opened recently will be possible at Alibeykoy metro stop.

Last stop of tram is next to Alibeykoy main bus station. Many intercity buses to/from Istanbul calls at this station.

Tram cars by Durmazlar

Halic tram. Photo: Durmazlar

The tram cars of this line are being manufactured by Durmazlar. The order is for 30 cars. 10 of them will be delivered within December. Service will start with these 10 cars. As whole line is commissioned and all cars are delivered, daily capacity will reach to 120k pax.

Durmazlar, a tram producer based at Bursa has supplied trams cars of Bursa, Samsun and Kocaeli until now. The company also exported trams to Poland and Romania.

No overhead catenary

The power will be supplied via rails to the tram cars. Thus scenery of old city will not be affected because of masts or electric wires. This system by Alstom guarantees electricity will be available only for tram cars and will not damage pedestrians nor cars crossing the track.

Project delayed

The contract for this line was signed in late 2016 with deadline of 26 months. Construction works started in March 2017, thus opening was planned in 2019.

As of September 2018 status was like this. Completion rate was reported as 33% by municipality.

In March 2019, just before elections, a test run was done. The remaining parts were told to continue during test runs and Eminönü-Cibali section to be commissioned later on.

After elections, new mayorship stated that completion rate was 65% by that time and works almost stopped due to lack of fund, also adding that they were looking for fund to complete the project.

In March 2020, tracks on 1.3-km-long distance between Balat and Ayvansaray collapsed. Municipality stated that construction at this section was wrong and will be demolished and reconstructed on bored piles.

Cover photo: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality ©

2 replies »

  1. Wonderful news. Lets hope Covid subsides soon and we can
    visit Istanbul again. Thanks for keeping us all update on Turkish Rail developments.
    Petra Collins

  2. I am planning to go to Turkey this January so it is good news to have that line available . I really like the areas it goes through –the sea view, the commercial areas of the old city and the beautiful and picturesque neighbourhoods of balat and fener.

    I’ve always followed the news about that line and disappointed by multiple delays, so now I’m very happy.


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