World Bulletin / News Desk
Test drives on Marmaray Rail Tube Tunnel, an undersea rail tunnel under the Strait, will start on August 2nd.
Regarded as 'the infrastructure project of the century', Marmaray is a rail transport project in Istanbul which consists of the construction of rail tunnel under sea.
Much work has been completed including the tunnels, the underground stations, and assembly of the rails.
Marmaray includes 13.6 kilometres of tunnel and 63 kilometres of suburban train lines to connect Halkali on the European side with Gebze on the Asian side with an uninterrupted, modern, high-capacity commuter rail system.
A trip today from Halkali to Gebze will typically last a bit more than three hours, including the ferry trip from Sirkeci to Haydarpasa. When the upgraded commuter rail system is in place, the trip will take one hour and forty-five minutes. In other words, passengers will save approximately one hour and fifteen minutes on the trip.
The number of the passengers per hour and single direction will be 75,000, while approximately 1.2 million passengers are expected to travel daily.
The construction started in 2004, and 5.2 billionTurkish liras were spent until now. The total cost of the project is expected to be 9.2 billion TL.
The inauguration ceremony of Marmaray will be held by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 29, the 90th anniversary of 'The Republic Day of Turkey'.