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Two ends of Istanbul's Marmaray tunnel attached

ISTANBUL — Daily News with wires | 4/20/2010 12:00:00 AM |

The Marmaray Tunnel project has entered the next phase of construction, Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım said Sunday.

The Marmaray Tunnel project, which will eventually see Istanbul’s Anatolian and European halves connected by a subterranean rail link, has entered the next phase of construction, Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım said Sunday.

The minister announced that construction teams had reached a breakthrough as one of the tunnels on land had now been connected to the underwater tunnel from the Üsküdar Train Station.

During a ceremony marking the event, Yıldırım said the construction of the Atatürk tunnel, which lies parallel to Yavuz tunnel, was also started in Üsküdar.

Yıldırım further said the Atatürk tunnel would be connected to the underwater tunnel in three months.

“Some 50 percent of the land and underwater tunnels, measuring up to 13.6 kilometers in total, have been completed. By 2011 the project will arrive at the stage where passengers can pass from Üsküdar to Yenikapı. On Oct., 29, 2013, we will stage the grand opening for the Marmaray tunnel,” he said.

After the tunnels are complete, the railroad construction will begin between Söğütlüçeşme and Gebze as well as Kazlıçeşme and Halkalı, the minister said, adding that the production of the route’s high-speed train cars had also begun.  

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