TURKISH State Railways (TCDD) confirmed to IRJ on April 6 that it is planning to start operations on the second phase of the Marmaray project in Istanbul in the first half of 2017.
The 63km project extends the existing cross-Bosphorous rail link at both ends, from the line's current eastern terminus at Ayrilik Cesmesi via Pendik (the current limit of rail services from the east) to Gebze, and from the western terminus at Kazlicesme to Halkali. This will add 32 new stations to the five currently operational on the 13.6km central section, which opened in October 2013.
The project has included the addition of a third track along much of the route, which will increase capacity to 75,000 passengers per hour per direction, with the CBTC train control system allowing headways of 2 minutes.
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