Istanbul’s Marmaray project awaits inauguration
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Transportation Minister Binali Yıldırım collects information at site. AA photoTransportation Minister Binali Yıldırım today paid a final inspection visit to Istanbul’s massive rail tunnel project, Marmaray, that will carry passengers under the Bosphorus, ahead of its inauguration on Oct. 29.
Yıldırım examined the latest preparations at each station before the opening during the visit.
Boarding the train at Kazlıçeşme station on the European side, the minister drove the train himself, until the Ayrılıkçeşme station on the Asian side.
He collected information at each station of the round trip that was accompanied by Turkish State Railways (TCDD) General Director Süleyman Karaman and Infrastructure Investments General Director Metin Tahan.
“Everything goes fine, hopefully Turkey will attain its one-and-half-century dream Marmaray on Oct. 29,” said the minister to an Anadolu Agency reporter after completing his inspection.
He said the works of art at the stations have also been completed to a great extent.
The trains are scheduled to leave from Kazlıçeşme to reach Söğütlüçeşme on the Anatolian side after hauling out of the sea at Ayrılıkçeşme station, covering almost 13.5 kilometers.
Two different lines of speed trains will soon be joined into the Marmaray route, rounding up to a massive 63-kilometer transportation network through the city. The total cost with the combined projects will reach 9 billion Turkish Liras. Over 13,000 meters of tunnels are included in the project.
The project, which will increase the share of railways within Istanbul’s intra-city transportation, will also have a connection with the Istanbul-Ankara speed rail route.
The Marmaray Metro project has dominated public debate for years now, and is known to have the complete support of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said the opening ceremony would take place on Oct. 29, the country’s Republic Day.
The biggest obstacle to the project’s completion has been the discovery of 40,000 artifacts at Yenikapı.
The artifacts were removed with the assistance of the Transportation Ministry and other state authorities, but were then put into depots due to budget constraints.