Istanbul M11 testing running begins (2)

TURKEY: Testing running has begun on the first phase of Istanbul’s express metro line M11. This is being built to serve the city’s new main airport, which opened in 2019.

Announcing the start of dynamic testing at the Gayrettepe terminus on November 8, Minister of Transport & Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu said M11 was expected to open in the first quarter of next year, but did not give an exact date.

The 37·5 km first phase of the line will connect Gayrettepe on Line M2 and Kağıthane on M7 with Hardal, Kemerburgaz, Göktürk, İhsaniye and the airport’s terminals 2, 1 and 3 (cargo).

Istanbul M11 testing running begins (3)

CRRC Zhuzhou has supplied a fleet of trainsets equipped for unattended automated operation to GoA4. Services will operate at up to 120 km/h, giving a journey time between Gayrettepe and the airport of 33 min.

Karaismailoğlu described Gayrettepe as the deepest station in Turkey, with the platforms 72 m below ground. M11 is the first metro line to be constructed using three TBMs simultaneously and the first to be equipped with a Turkish-made signalling system, he added.

The signalling has been developed by Istanbul Metro and Aselsan, a company controlled by the Turkish military. It has been installed by a consortium of Aselsan and construction companies Kalyon, Kolin and Cengiz.

Work is continuing on the second phase of the line, which will link the airport and Istanbul’s main European rail hub at Halkalı, which is also the terminus of the Marmaray suburban service and metro Line M1a. This extension will add stations at Arnavutköy 1, Aranvutköy 2, Fenertepe, Kayaşehir Merkez, Olimpiyat and Tema Park. However, Karaismailoğlu did not give an expected completion date.

M11 is one of seven line in Istanbul which are being funded and developed by the national Ministry of Transport but once completed will be operated under the authority of the municipality.