TURKEY: Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek attended a ceremony to mark the start of test running on the city’s metro Line M4 on August 31. Testing on the northern section of the line is expected to continue for at least 2½ months.

Construction of the 10·6 km underground line started in 2004. The route linking Gazino in the north with Kızılay in the south will have 11 stations, including an interchange with Line M1 at Atatürk Kültür Merkezi. Test running is limited to the 9·2 km northern section from Gazino to Atatürk Kültür Merkezi, with nine stations.

CRRC Zhuzhou is supplying a fleet of stainless steel bodied trainsets as part of a 2·5bn yuan contract signed in 2012 covering 342 cars for use on M2, M3 and M4. Being built at CRRC’s Sincan plant near Ankara, the M4 trains draw third-rail power at 750 V DC and have a maximum speed of 80 km/h. They will run at minimum headways of 90 sec.

In the longer term Line M4 could be extended to Esenboğa International Airport in the northeast of the city, although a heavy rail link to the airport is also being studied. The planned Line M5 could also link Kızılay with Esenboğa.