The Marmaray Project in İstanbul, Turkey is about the upgrage of approximately 76 km of commuter railway some of it in tunnels and below the Bospurus (Boğaziçi in Turkish). The project is one of the major infrastructure projects in Turkey.
It will connect Halkalı on the European side with Gezbe in Asia and cut traveltimes from end to end from 185 minutes today to 105 minutes when the trains start operating. A short technical description and other information can be found on www.marmaray.com.
However, the project is about four years behind schedule and over budget as the area is archeologically very rich and apparently there have been many finds that had to be taken care of.
Today the Turkish newspaper Zaman writes that the Minister of Transportation has announced that the project will be completed and will be put into service at the end of 2013 despite the shortfalls in the provinces (İstanbul’s) finances.
The project reached a milestone today when tunnel excavations reached Üsküdar square on the Asian side.
Once the tunnel under water tunnel, which consists of submerged tunnels and will not be excavated is ready this end will be connected to it in March 2010.