TURKEY: Work has started on the second phase of Istanbul metro Line M7. The western section of the driverless line will run from Mahmutbey to Esenyurt, serving 10 stations.

A consortium of Akyol, Astur and IC İçtaş was awarded the construction contract for the 18·5 km route on July 11. The project cost is TL3·5bn.

The 24·5 km first section of Line M7, between Mahmutbey and Kabataş, has been under construction since February 2014 and is due to open next year. Bombardier is supplying Cityflo 650 signalling, which would give the line a design capacity of 70 000 passengers/h per direction.

The M7 project is part of Istanbul’s aim to reach a target of 489 km of metro and tram lines by 2019. Besides M7 and the Marmaray upgrade, work is currently underway on six metro lines totalling 89 km.