The first section of Istanbul tram line T5 alongside the Golden Horn waterway has opened

TURKEY: The first section of Istanbul tram line T5 alongside the Golden Horn waterway opened on January 4.

The initial section runs 8·8 km from Alibeyköy to Cibali. There are 12 stops, including connections with the TF2 cable car and metro line M7.

The line has catenary-free operation using Alstom’s APS ground-level power supply which energises automatically when a tram passes over it. ABB supplied the traction equipment for the line’s fleet of 30 Durmazlar LRVs.

tr Istanbul Golden Horn tramway (5)

T5 serves the districts of Eyüpsültan and Fatih which are home to over 1 million people, and it is expected to reduce traffic on the overcrowded coastal road; more than 90 000 people a day use buses from Alibeyköy bus station.

There will initially be up to 180 tram services a day in each direction, providing a peak capacity of 12 000 passengers per hour.

No date has been set for the opening of the planned second section of the line, which would run from Cibali to Eminönü and take T5 to 10·1 km with 14 stops. This would provide interchanges with metro line M2 and tram T1.

This section is currently served by a dedicated bus route which was launched with the tramway opening.

Construction of T5 was undertaken by Doğuş İnşaat. Space on the narrow coastal road is limited, and some sections of the line were constructed on piles sunk into the bed of the Golden Horn.

Work originally began in November 2016 and was scheduled to be completed in 2019, but was delayed when central government funding was cut in response to Turkey’s 2018 financial crisis.

Construction restarted following municipal elections in 2019, and the city has since pledged to complete construction of unfinished metro and tram projects and to add more lines to the growing network.