TURKEY: The Gaziray suburban route in the southern city of Gaziantep opened for revenue services on November 5, as the city became the fourth in the country to launch a dedicated commuter rail corridor after Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.

Erdogan minister Gaziray opening

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (centre) was among the dignitaries attending the openeing.

Gaziray has been developed jointly by infrastructure manager TCDD and Gaziantep city council. The 25·5 route-km line uses a dedicated pair of local tracks laid alongside the two fast tracks used by inter-city and long-distance trains. Construction was undertaken as part of a wider route modernisation and electrification programme on the main line which links Mersin, Adana, Osmaniye and Gaziantep.

Key elements in the project have included the rebuilding of a 5 km at-grade section of the route through the city centre on an underground alignment using cut-and-cover tunnels, and the construction of 16 new stations, four of them below ground.


Civil works were undertaken in multiple work packages by local contractors Kolin, Kalyon and BS Uluslararasi Mühendislik. Elsitel Elektromekanik İnşaat was awarded the contract covering electrification and signalling.

Rolling stock for the line has been supplied by state-owned manufacturer Türasaş, which early last year signed a €47m contract to deliver eight four-car aluminium bodied electric multiple-units with a top speed of 120 km/h and a capacity of 1 000 passengers.

Gaziraycarriage minister

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister of Transport & Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu said that the rebuilding of the country’s main line network is continuing and within four years it will be possible to travel on high speed services from Kapıkule on the Bulgarian border via Istanbul, Ankara and Mersin to Gaziantep. Rebuilding of the Mersin – Gaziantep corridor is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025.