A century-and-a-half-old Ottoman dream to link the European and Asian continents under the Bosphorus finally came true as Turkish officials opened the Marmaray Railway between Yenikapı and Üsküdar, on 29th of October, the Turkish Republic’s 90th Anniversary.
Sultan Abdülmecid considered such a link back in 1860, but the plan was never realised. The idea of linking the continents underwater continued to endure, however, and the construction the project finally began in 2004.
During the construction of the Marmaray Railway and Yenikapı metro station, the construction unexpectedly turned into one of the most extensive archaeological excavations in the history of Istanbul when an archeological discovery turned out to be the Theodosius Port, the largest port of the Early Byzantine Period.
The line goes underground at Yedikule, continues through the Yenikapı and Sirkeci new underground stations, passes under the Istanbul Strait, connects to the Üsküdar new underground station and emerges at Söğütlüçesme.
The 13.6 kilometer tunnel, including a 1.4 kilometer immersed tube tunnel, is the deepest of its kind in the world at 62 meters.
The entire upgraded and new railway system will be approximately 76 km long and will have 37 surface stations.
With a maximum capacity of 1.5 million passengers a day, the Marmaray is expected to alleviate 20 percent of the 14 million-person city’s traffic burden.
This Project is one of the major transportation infrastructure projects in the world at present.