M1 (Istanbul Metro)

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Metro M1 Aksaray-Atatürk Airport/Kirazlı
(İstanbul Hafif Metro)
Istanbul public transport - M1 line symbol.png
Istanbul Line Symbol M1A.png Istanbul Line Symbol M1B.png
Istanbul LRT métroléger M1.JPG
Owner Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Locale Istanbul
Transit type Light metro
Number of lines 1 (2 branch lines: M1A & M1B)
Number of stations 22[1]
Daily ridership 220,000[1]
Began operation 1989[1]
Operator(s) İstanbul Ulaşım AŞ
Number of vehicles 98[1]
Headway 5 minutes / 3 minutes in peak hours[1]
System length 24.8 km (15.4 mi)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
(standard gauge)[2]
System map
Istanbul public transport network: M1 (Hafif Metro) is shown in light blue; other Metro lines are shown in dark blue.

The Metro M1 Aksaray-Atatürk Airport/Kirazlı (also known as the Hafif raylı sistem or Hafif Metro (Light Metro) in Turkish) is a light metro line in the Istanbul Metro system. It opened for service in 1989, making it in inaugural line of the Istanbul Metro, and its opening started the revival of mass transit in Turkish cities. The M1 line spans a total length of 24.8 kilometers (15.4 mi),[1] with 10.4 kilometers (6.5 mi) of it underground,[citation needed] and consists of two branch lines (M1A and M1B). It serves 22 stations in total, including 10 tunnel and underground stations and 3 viaduct stations.[1] Line M1 is a fully grade separated line, and is only considered a "light metro" due to its relatively lower passenger volume capacities, due to its use of four-car trainsets, as compared to the rest of the Istanbul Metro system. A total of 98 trainsets operate on the line, transporting an average of 220,000 passengers per day.[1]

An extension of the M1 line from its current eastern terminus, Aksaray station, to Yenikapı, which will allow connections with the Marmaray commuter rail line, is currently under construction. The extension is expected to open for service in 2014.[3]


With Istanbul's population growing and the city rapidly expanding outward, the bus service available in the city became insufficient in the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, the city did not have a mass transit rail system, except for a single 0.57 km (0.35 mi) funicular line known as Tünel – the last operating original tramline was closed in 1969. Istanbul desperately needed a rapid transit rail system to help transport its large population.

The first segment of the M1 line began service on September 3, 1989, between Aksaray and Kartaltepe.[1] On December 18, 1989, the line was extended to Esenler,[1] but at that time the Otogar (Intercity Bus Station) was omitted. The Otogar station, and the segment between Otogar and Zeytinburnu stations on the M1A branch line, was opened on January 31, 1994.[1] Following this, the M1A segment between Zeytinburnu and Bakırköy stations was opened on July 3 of the same year.[1] Further extensions of the M1A line, to Ataköy (Şirinevler) and then Yenibosna stations, were opened in July and August 1995,[1] at which point the length of the line reached approximately 16 km. In 1999, a new M1A line station located between Atatköy and Bakırköy stations, the Bahçelievler station, opened. Finally, the M1A branch line was completed on December 20, 2002, when the extension to the World Trade Center and Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy opened.

A rebuilt Esenler station opened on February 22, 2012.[1] The extension of the M1B branch line from Esenler to Kirazlı opened on June 14, 2013.[1]

Operations & route[edit]

Route diagram of the M1 line with M1A and M1B branches.

A total of 98 trainsets transport up to 220,000 passenger daily between the operation hours from 6:00 in the early morning to 0:00 in the midnight.[1] The M1 line has a maximum headway of 3 minutes during peak hours.[1] All stations have covered seating. A total of 52 escalators and 44 elevators make access to the stations easy for passengers.[1]

M1A branch line[edit]

The M1A line is 19.0 kilometers (11.8 mi) long in total,[citation needed] and serves 17 stations; if the Esenler connection station is included, the number of stations served is 18. The trip between the termini stations, Aksaray and Atatürk Airport, takes 30 minutes.[1] Daily, 165 trains run in one direction between the termini stations.[1]

On the M1A line, six stations are built underground, nine are ground-level stations, and three are of elevated. The stations are so structured that six of them have island platforms and eleven stations have side platforms. The connection station at Otogar in Esenler has two island platforms, which enable traffic on three tracks by the two different M1 branch lines.

M1B branch line[edit]

The M1B line is 13.4 kilometers (8.3 mi) long in total,[citation needed] and serves 12 stations. The trip between the termini stations, Aksaray and Kirazlı, takes 22 minutes.[1] Daily, 165 trains run in one direction between the termini stations.[1]


Aksaray station

M1 line[edit]

The following stations are served by both the M1A and M1B branch lines:

M1A branch line[edit]

M1B branch line[edit]

Future extensions[edit]

The initial expansion plan for the M1 line is to extend it from its current eastern terminus at Aksaray to Yenikapı, where it will connect with the Istanbul Metro's M2 line, the Seabus ferry port, and with the Marmaray commuter rail line. Construction is projected to be complete in 2014.[3] When this extension is completed, passengers will be able to take the Seabus to the other ferry ports on the Asian side, like Bostancı, Kadıköy and Kartal; as well as other cities on the Marmara Sea shore such as Bursa, Bandırma, Yalova, etc. With the Marmaray project and the M1 line's extension across the Golden Horn completed, passengers will be able to transfer to the north of the Golden Horn, and to the Asian side across the Bosporus, by rail as well.

Rolling Stock[edit]

Since this line is the oldest modern rail line in İstanbul, it has aged vehicles which were produced by ABB in 1988. The vehicles reach a maximum speed of 80 km/h with an acceleration of 0.7 m/s2.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Media related to Istanbul Metro line M1 at Wikimedia Commons