Turkey has unveiled the world’s first sea tunnel connecting two continents known as the Marmaray Project, the greatest project connecting two continents with an uninterrupted railway transportation under the Istanbul ’s Bosphorus is opened by the participation of Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 29 which also marks the Republic Day of the country.
The Marmaray, opened on the 90th anniversary of the foundation of Turkish Republic, is called the Project of the Century with a past of 153 years.
On its first day of operation, a total of 300 thousand passengers ride the Marmaray.
The first station of Marmaray consisting of total 5 stations, 3 of which underground will be integrated to Kadikoy-Kartal-Kaynarca metro rail line.
Marmaray Project consists of 3 sections namely Halkali section, Gebze section and the undersea section crossing the strait.
When it comes to the travel durations, the distance between Gebze and Halkali will take 105 minutes instead of 185 minutes with the rehabilitated suburb rail lines. Besides the travel duration between Bostanci and Bakirkoy will drop to 37 minutes, Sogutlucesme and Yenikapi to 12 minutes and Uskudar and Sirkeci 4 minutes. Thus it will take 4 minutes crossing two continents Asia and Europe.
The double line Marmaray will run underground at Yedikule and move to Sirkeci and pass under the Istanbul strait and reach the underground station of Uskudar on the Asian side of Istanbul. The Marmaray will get on-ground at Ayrilikcesme and move on to Sogutlucesme. This section which is around 13.5 km is put into service on Tuesday. Upon the completion of the suburb rail line of Gebze-Halkali, the Marmaray will take departures every 2 to 10 minutes. Marmaray will transport around 75 thousand people in single route per hour and is expected to transport 1.2 million people per day.
The Marmaray Project, cost of which will reach 8 billion dollars with the completion of the suburban, is deepest immersed tube tunnel of the world. The escalators at the southern entrance of Sirkeci station is the longest escalator in Turkey with the height of 61 meters.
On surface metro section, with the length of 63 km, there are 37 surface stations. The rail line strait tube section is 13.6 km, 9.8 km of which consists of bored tunnel, 1.4 km immersed tube tunnel and 2.4 km cut-and-cover tunnels. There are 3 stations with a length of 225 meters.
The stations of Marmaray are as follows: Halkali, Mustafakemal, Kucukcekmece, Florya, Yesilkoy, Yesilyurt, Atakoy, Bakirkoy, Yenimahalle, Zeytinburnu, Kazlicesme, Yenikapi, Sirkeci, Istanbul Bogazi, Uskudar, Ibrahimaga, Sogutlucesme, Feneryolu, Goztepe, Erenkoy, Suadiye, Bostanci, Kucukyali, Idealtepe, Süreyya Plaji, Maltepe, Cevizli, Atalar, Basak, Kartal, Yunus, Pendik, Kaynarca, Tersane, Guzelyali, Aydintepe, Icmeler, Tuzla, Cayirova, Fatih, Osmangazi and Gebze.