Test runs to begin on Istanbul's Marmaray metro

Test runs to begin on Istanbul's Marmaray metro

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul’s ambitious Marmaray Metro Project is nearing completion, with authorities planning to begin test runs on Aug. 2, roughly three months before the slated opening.

Train wagons, which were previously housed at the Sirkeci train station, have been brought to the tunnel before being loaded with sandbags in preparation for the first test run.

The trains are scheduled to leave from Ayrılıkçeşme on the Asian side, but it is not clear whether they will complete the entire 13.6-kilometer track to Kazlıçeşme on the European side. Officials will also begin to test possible crash scenarios in September, according to daily Sabah.

Canal Istanbul, a third Istanbul airport, the Marmaray rail tube project and a highly contentious third bridge are among the most prominent projects.

The Marmaray Metro project has dominated public debate for years now, and is known to have the complete support of Turkish 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.