Istanbul’s tunnel, tram celebrate anniversaries

Istanbul’s tunnel, tram celebrate anniversaries

ISTANBUL – Demirören News Agency
Istanbul’s tunnel, tram celebrate anniversaries

AA Photo

Turkey’s largest metropolis Istanbul has celebrated the anniversary of its two landmark transportation systems in the historical Beyoğlu district.

The historic tram connecting Istanbul’s Tünel Square and Taksim Square made a celebration tour to mark its 106th anniversary on Feb. 11.

The historical tram, which replaced horse-drawn carriages in 1914, is the only vehicle permitted on İstiklal Avenue during regular hours besides official vehicles. It has been operating with three traditional mortises and two wagons since 1990, making 14,600 trips per year amounting to 23,944 kilometers. The tram, one of the most photographed things in the world, carried 380,000 passengers in 2019, according to the Istanbul Municipality.

The Karaköy Tunnel, which is the second oldest subterranean urban rail line in the world after the London Underground, celebrated its 145th anniversary.

It carried nearly 5 million passengers from Karaköy to Tünel Square on its two-way rail system. A ride on the funicular system, called Tünel by residents, takes only about two minutes.

Tünel was originally conceived by French engineer Eugene Henri Gavand, who came to the city in 1867. Its purpose was to provide an easy ride between the neighborhoods of Pera in Beyoğlu and Galata in Karaköy, both of which were in the relatively newer part of Istanbul on the northern shore of the Golden Horn.