The Sirkeci-Halkalı suburban trains, Istanbul’s first railway line which were decommissioned a decade ago, will be put back into service for touristic purposes.
The Transport and Infrastructure Ministry previously initiated a new project that will meet both touristic and public needs on the suburban line on the Sirkeci – Kazlıçeşme route, passing between the city walls and historical buildings.
Within the scope of the works, construction teams re-laid the tracks,renovated the historic station buildings and started to work on pedestrian paths.
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister of Abdulkadir Uraloğlu took the first test drive of the nostalgic train yesterday.
The 8-station suburban line is expected to be reopened at the end of this year, Minister Uraloğlu said.
“There will be 22 underpasses for vehicle and pedestrian crossings, four historical stations including Yedikule, Kocamustafapasa, Yenikapı and Kumkapı, two stations that are yet to be renovated, Sirkeci and Cankurtaran, and two new stations in Kazlıçeşme and Cerrahpaşa. The line will be integrated with Marmaray at Kazlıçeşme,” the minister said.
In addition, Uraloğlu stated that they have also renovated the underpass that provides passage from Kennedy Street to Samatya and Cerrahpaşa hospitals and made the height of the passage suitable for ambulances.
The new railway line to be built in the Sirkeci Port Area will also ensure coordination between Sirkeci and Haydarpaşa ports, the minister added.
Being the trademark of Istanbul for many years, the suburban train running between Sirkeci and Halkalı localities was engraved in people’s memories by adorning postcards with its signature red color.
Previously during the construction of the Marmaray Project a decade ago, the suburban trains were put out of service and all the rails were dismantled.