ANKARA - The Marmaray Project that provides an upgrade to the commuter rail system in the city, connecting Halkalı on the European side with Gebze on the Asian side, has seen the final agreement for the acquisition of the rail cars to be used in the project. The winner of the bid is Hyundai ROTEM.

The final agreement for the acquisition of the rail cars to be used in the Marmaray project, the underwater railway system to connect Asia and Europe, was signed Monday.

Minister of Transport Binali Yıldırım, said the 440 rail cars for the project would be delivered between 2012 and 2014 in three deliveries and the vehicles would be constructed so as to accommodate the number of passengers the project will transport by 2025.

"Marmaray is not only a solution for Istanbul’s traffic problems. The project will connect east and west; West and the Far East. The fact that Turkish entrepreneurs are collaborating with partners from the Far East has a special meaning," Yıldırım said.

Yıldırım noted the winner of the bid, the South Korean Hyundai ROTEM, offered the best offer out of the four attendees."The price difference between the winning offer and the second best was 40 percent.This is very important for public interest," said Yıldırım and added that he believed Hyundai ROTEM would use Turkish workforces and the present subsidiary industry while building these vehicles at EUROTEM, the facilities they have established with their Turkish partners.

Yıldırım said, besides the 440 vehicles, the contract covered personnel training, pre-hiring training, spare parts and operating maintenance for five years. Yıldırım also said the five year warranty proved the quality of the rail cars, all made of stainless steel, suitable for the working environment at 13.5 -14 kilometers underground.

22 meters long wagons
Each of the vehicles is 22 meters long and has five doors that open to allow passengers to move between rail cars, said Yıldırım. Necessary measures for disabled passengers will also be taken, according to Yıldırım, who confirmed the necessary contributions and accuracy would be available.

Yıldırım said regular services would be every two minutes during peak hours and every 10 minutes at other times. The 77 kilometer route has 34 stations and will be covered in 100 minutes. Competitive conditions, quality and public satisfaction are being considered at every step of the project, according to Yıldırım, who claimed the manufacturing of the train rail cars by the Sakarya factory of Hyundai ROTEM and EUROTEM proved that.

Yeo-Sung Lee, an executive for Hyundai ROTEM, said Marmaray was one of the most important projects in the world for both its meaning and its historical significance: "The trains to connect Europe and Asia through the Bosphorus tunnel will be available soon as another unique wonder of Istanbul."
Marmaray Project
While preserving historical and cultural values in the city of Istanbul, modern railway facilities have to be installed to decrease the environmental impact of public transportation and increase the capacity, reliability and comfort of the railway systems at the same time.

The project provides an upgrade of the commuter rail system in the city, connecting Halkalı on the European side with Gebze on the Asian side. Railway tracks on both sides of the Bosphorus Strait will be connected to each other via a tunnel connection passing under the water. The railway line goes underground at Yedikule, continues through the new Yenikapı and Sirkeci underground stations, passes under the strait, connects to the Üsküdar underground station and emerges at Söğütlüçeşme.

The entire railway system will be approximately 77 kilometers long. The main structures and systems include the immersed tube tunnel; bored and cut-and-cover tunnels; three new underground stations and 37 surface stations; operation control centers and maintenance facilities; the upgrading of existing tracks, including a new third track on ground; completely new mechanical systems and the procurement of modern railway vehicles.