Learn more about Marmaray
Marmaray is the name of a project to link the European and Anatolian halves of Istanbul by an undersea rail tunnel across the Bosphorus strait. The name Marmaray (Marmara Rail) comes from combining the name of the Sea of Marmara, which lies just south of the project site, with ray, the Turkish word for rail.
 The project
The project includes a 13.6 km Bosphorus crossing and the upgrade of 63 km of suburban train lines to create a 76.3 km high capacity line between Gebze and Halkalı. The Bosphorus (Istanbul Strait) will be crossed by a 1.4 km earthquake-proof immersed tube, assembled from 11 sections and placed 56 meters below sea level. This tube will be accessed by bored tunnels from Kazlıçeşme on the European side and Ayrılıkçeşme on the Asian side of Istanbul. New underground stations will be built at Yenikapı, Sirkeci, and Üsküdar, and 37 other above-ground stations along the line will be constructed or refurbished. The station at Yenikapi will connect with Istanbul metro and light rail. The upgrade of the suburban lines requires the laying of a third track along most of the line to increase capacity to 75,000 passengers per hour in each direction. Signaling must also be modernized to allow headways of 2 minutes. Total travel time from Gebze to Halkali will be 105 minutes.
Construction of the Marmaray project started in May 2004. Its completion, expected to occur in 2009, is projected to increase the fraction of trips in Istanbul made by rail transport from 3.6% to 27.7%. If this takes place, Istanbul's rail transport fraction will be third largest in the world, after Tokyo (60%) and New York City (31%).
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation and the European Investment Bank have provided major financing for the project. To date (April 2006), JBIC has lent 111 billion yen and EIB 1.05 billion euros. Total cost of the project is expected to be approximately 2.5 billion euros.
 See also
 External links
- (Turkish) Marmaray web site
- (English) Marmaray web site in English
- (English) Marmaray project: The project and its management, Steen Lykke and Hüseyin Belkaya, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 20 (2005), pp. 600–603
- (English) Considerations and strategies behind the design and construction requirements of the Istanbul Strait immersed tunnel, L. C. F. Ingerslev, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 20 (2005), pp. 604–608
- (English) Marmaray project: Marine operations, the Bosphorus Crossing, Steen Lykke and Frits van de Kerk, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 20 (2005), pp. 609–611
- (English) Marmaray project: Tunnels and stations in BC contract, Hideki Sakaeda, Tunnelling and Underground Space Technology, 20 (2005), pp. 612–616
- (Turkish) Marmaray BC1 project and surveying worksde:Marmaray