Turkey tests undersea rail tunnel linking Asia with Europe

By REUTERS
August 5, 2013 17:11

ISTANBUL - Turkey has successfully completed a trial run of a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus connecting Istanbul's European and Asian sides, the first of several planned mega projects in the country's largest city to see the light of day.

The 13.6 km (8.5 mile) tunnel, including a 1.4 km immersed tube tunnel - the deepest of its kind in the world at 56 meters - passes under Turkey's Bosphorus Strait, the busy shipping channel linking the Marmara Sea to the Black Sea.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who on Sunday boarded the first train to pass through the tunnel, said the project had been 150 years in the making, and by connecting "London to Beijing", served not only those in Istanbul and Turkey.

The tunnel is part of a larger $5 billion "Marmaray" project which also includes an upgrade of existing suburban rail lines to create a 76 km line that according to the government will carry 1.5 million people a day across the city's two sides.


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