Istanbul Metro

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Istanbul Metro
İstanbul Metrosu
Istanbul Metro Logo.svg
Native name İstanbul Metrosu
Owner Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality
Locale Istanbul, Turkey
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 5 European lines (3 in service, all will be extended; 2 under construction);
2 Asian lines (1 in service, will be extended; 1 under construction)
Number of stations 65 in service;[1]
35 under construction
Annual ridership 232.2 million (2013)[2]
Website İstanbul Ulaşım (English)
Began operation 1989 (M1 - as light metro)
2000 (M2)
Operator(s) İstanbul Ulaşım A.Ş.
Number of vehicles 268[1][3]
System length 86.6 km (53.8 mi)[1]
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
(standard gauge)
System map
System map of Istanbul Metro.

The Istanbul Metro (Turkish: İstanbul Metrosu) is a rapid transit underground railway network that serves the city of Istanbul, Turkey. It is operated by İstanbul Ulaşım (Istanbul Transport), a public enterprise, controlled by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. The oldest section is the metro is M1 line, which opened in 1989; it now includes 65 stations in service,[1] with 30 more under construction.

The system currently consists of four lines named M1, M2, M3 and M4. More lines are under construction or planned: M5 (Üsküdar-Çekmeköy/Sancaktepe) is on the Asian side; while M7 (Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey), and M6 (Levent-Boğaziçi Üniversitesi) will be on the European side.[4]


Karaköy station of the Tünel, which entered service on January 17, 1875.

The oldest underground urban rail line in Istanbul is the Tünel, which entered service on January 17, 1875.[5] It is the world's second-oldest underground urban rail line after the London Underground which was built in 1863,[6] and the first underground urban rail line in continental Europe; though the first full line with multiple underground stations in continental Europe was Line 1 of the Budapest Metro (1896).[7]

The first master plan for a full metro network in Istanbul, titled Avant Projet d'un Métropolitain à Constantinople and conceived by the French engineer L. Guerby, dates to January 10, 1912.[citation needed] The plan comprised a total of 24 stations between the Topkapı and Şişli districts and included a connection through the Golden Horn. Each station would have a 75 metre platform next to the rail line, while the distance between stations varied from 220 to 975 metres. The blueprints of the project, which was never realized, are today displayed at the Istanbul Technical University Museum.[citation needed]

In 1936 the French urban planner Henri Prost proposed a metro network between the districts of Taksim and Beyazıt, to the north and south of the Golden Horn, respectively.[8][9] In October 1951 the Dutch firm Nedeco proposed a similar route between Taksim and Beyazıt, and in September 1952 the Director of the Paris Transportation Department, Marc Langevin, prepared a 14-chapter report together with his associate Louis Meizzonet for the implementation of the project and its integration with the other means of public transportation in the city. However, these plans never came into effect and all proposals were put on hold until 1987, when the planning for the current Istanbul Metro was made.[citation needed]

Construction works for the first 'modern' mass transit railway system started in 1989.[when?] The M1 was initially called "Hafif Metro" (which literally translates as "light metro"). Although it was built as a fully grade separated line, the M1 line operates with shorter trainsets and shorter station platforms than is standard on a traditional metro line, hence its "light metro" designation. The M1 line was later extended from Aksaray towards the western suburbs, reaching Atatürk Airport in the southwest in 2002.[10] Construction of the M2, began on September 11, 1992, but faced many challenges due to the numerous archaeological sites that were discovered during the drilling process, which slowed down or fully stopped the construction of many stations especially at south. Taking into account the seismic activity in Istanbul, the entire network was built with the cut-and-cover method[citation needed] to withstand an earthquake of up to 9.0 on the Richter magnitude scale.[11][12]

Construction works (2012) at the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosphorus strait, which connects the metro lines of Istanbul's European and Asian sides, a year before its opening in 2013.

The first section between Taksim and 4. Levent entered service, after some delays, on September 16, 2000. This line is 8.5 km (5.3 mi) long and has 6 stations, which all look similar but are in different colours. In 2000, there were 8 Alstom-built 4-car train sets in service, which ran every 5 minutes on average and transported 130,000 passengers daily. On January 30, 2009, the first train sets built by Eurotem entered service.[13] Eurotem will build a total of 92 new wagons for the M2 line.[13][14] As of January 30, 2009, a total of 34 trainsets, each with 4 cars, were being used on the M2 line.[14] A northern extension from 4. Levent to Maslak was opened on January 30, 2009.[15] On September 2, 2010 the northern (temporary) terminus Darüşşafaka followed.[16] The southern extension of the M2 line from Taksim to Yenikapı, across the Golden Horn via Haliç station on the bridge and underground through the historic peninsula, entered service on 15 February 2014. The Taksim-Yenikapı extension is 5.2 km long, with four stations. The total cost of the extension was $593 million.[17] At Yenikapı it will intersect with the extended light metro and the suburban train lines.

The Golden Horn Metro Bridge entered service in 2014.

The trip between the Şişhane station in Beyoğlu and the Haciosman station in Maslak is 20 km (12.4 mi) long and takes 27 minutes; including Şişhane - Taksim (1.65 km, 2 minutes), Taksim - 4. Levent (8.5 km, 12 minutes), and 4. Levent - Haciosman (8.1 km, 12 minutes.)[18][19] The total length of the European side of the M2 line will reach 23 km (14.3 mi) when all 16 stations from Hacıosman to Yenikapı will be completed;[20][21][22] not including the 936 metres long Golden Horn Metro Bridge,[23] the 0.6 km long Taksim-Kabataş tunnel connection with the Seabus port,[24] the 0.6 km long Yenikapı-Aksaray tunnel connection for the M1 line,[22] and the 13.6 km long Marmaray tunnel.[25]

On the Asian side, construction is in progress of the remaining portion of the 26.5 km (16.5 mi) long M4 line from Kadıköy to Kaynarca, yielding a total of 19 stations. It cost € 751 million and was built by the Astaldi / Makyol / Gülermak consortium.[26] The first section opened on August 17, 2012, terminating in Kartal. Construction of the 20 km (12.4 mi) long M5 (Istanbul Metro) line from Üsküdar via Ümraniye to Sancaktepe started in March 2012.[27] The Marmaray tunnel (Bosphorus undersea railway tunnel) connecting the Asian and European metro lines opened on October 29, 2013.[citation needed]


The Metro operates from 6 a.m. to approximately 0.30 a.m. every 7–10 minutes; during peak-hours the intervals reduce to 5 minutes. There is a flat fare – 2.15 TL (4 TL with token), paid in tokens (which are also valid on the funicular, modern tram, buses and trans-Bosporus ferry boats).[28] Akbil tickets/cards are also valid, which is the most popular method for long distance traveling. The Akbil ticket is valid on all metros, trams, funiculars, ferry boats and buses. Ferryboat and bus fares are not flat, so the price of this transfer ticket also varies depending on the distance to be covered on bus or ferryboat.


Rapid transit lines in Istanbul and current expansions of the network
Metro lines

The following table lists the metro lines currently in service on the Istanbul Metro. An additional four lines are under-construction or planned.

Line Route Opened Length Stations Notes[29]
Istanbul public transport - M1 line symbol.png
Yenikapı ↔ Atatürk Airport / Kirazlı 1989 25.47 km 23[1] The 0.7 km extension to Yenikapi opened on 9 November 2014.[30]
Istanbul Line Symbol M2.png
Yenikapı ↔ Hacıosman 2000 23.5 km[1] 16[1] Southern extension (3.5 km stretch to Yenikapı, with 3 stations) completed in February 2014.
Istanbul Line Symbol M3.png
Kirazlı ↔ Metrokent–Olimpiyat 2013 15.9 km[1] 11[1] A southern extension (9.0 km to Bakırköy, with 8 stations) planned.
Istanbul Line Symbol M4.png
Kadıköy ↔ Kartal 2012 21.7 km[1] 16[1] An extension of 5.2 km on the south-eastern end of city, with 3 more stations, is under construction.
TOTAL: 86.6 km[1] 65[1]
Commuter rail line

The following line is a commuter rail line that offers connection between the European side and Asian side segments of the Istanbul metro:

Line Route Opened Length Stations Notes[29]
Istanbul Line Symbol Marmaray.png
Kazlıçeşme ↔ Ayrılıkçeşme 2013 13.6 km 5 A further 62 km section under construction.


European side[edit]

Şişli station of the Istanbul Metro in front of Istanbul Cevahir, Europe's largest mall between 2005 and 2011.
Levent station of the Istanbul Metro
Gayrettepe subway station
Levent subway station
Taksim subway station
Osmanbey subway station

M1 line[edit]

Main article: M1 (Istanbul Metro)

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

M1A branch line
M1B branch line

M2 line[edit]

Main article: M2 (Istanbul Metro)

The route splits to form a short one-station spur line at the Sanayi Mahallesi station to the following station:

M3 line[edit]

Main article: M3 (Istanbul Metro)

The route splits to form a 'Y' at the İkitelli Sanayi station with the western branch line traveling to the following two northwesterly stations:

Asian side[edit]

Kadıköy subway station
Bostancı subway station, the only station with 3 tracks in the M4.

M4 line[edit]

Main article: M4 (Istanbul Metro)

Track gauge and electrification[edit]

  • Traction: Overhead line wire
  • Gauge: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
  • Traction: Sidebar electrification
  • Gauge: 1,435 mm
  • Traction: Overhead line wire
  • Gauge: 1,435 mm
  • Traction: Rigid catenary electrification[31]
  • Gauge: 1,435 mm

Alignment and interchanges[edit]

The lines are fully underground and have no connection between them. All station names are on the bus lines as well.

The M2 Line has an interchange between F1 in Taksim and a new interchange tunnel is almost finished between Zincirlikuyu Metrobus station and Gayrettepe station.[32] When the line is completed, there will be an interchange at the Yenikapı Marmaray station and İDO Ferry Port; from where it is possible to take the high-speed catamaran Seabus for going to Bursa, Bandırma or Yalova; as well as the other Seabus ports in İstanbul such as Bostancı, Kadıköy, Bakırköy, and Kabataş.

The M4 Line has a vapur (traditional ferry), motorboat, İDO and nostalgic tram interchange at Kadıköy which is the heart of İstanbul's Asian side. When Ayrılıkçeşme Station Complex's construction is finished, Marmaray and M4 will meet here. Also at Ünalan / Uzunçayır, the line has a Metrobus interchange just like Gayrettepe in M2.

Rolling stock[edit]

Interior of M2 rolling stocks

Although line M1 is a (light) metro line, its rolling stock - in use since 1989 - is made up of typical ABB light rail vehicles (LRVs). These are partly the same as those used on the T4 tramway line.

The first Istanbul full metro rolling stocks, which entered service on September 16, 2000 on the Taksim - 4. Levent line, were built by Alstom. These trains are air conditioned and equipped with LCD screens. On January 30, 2009, the first 8 trains (each with 4 wagons) built by Eurotem (the Turkish factory of Hyundai Rotem) entered service.[33] Today the system has 268 trains.[1] These trains are also air conditioned and equipped with LCD screens, as well as dynamic route map showing the location and direction of the train.[34]

In September 2009, CAF signed a contract to supply 144 units for the İstanbul metro (M4), amounting to 1.156.159 euros. These metro units, each consisting of 4 cars, with a total length per unit of 90 meters and a maximum transport capacity of 1300 passengers.[35]

Future extension projects and plans[edit]

Lines table for future metro lines[edit]

Line Route Length Stations Notes[29]
Istanbul Line Symbol M5.png
Üsküdar ↔ Çekmeköy–Sancaktepe 20.0 km[36] (under construction) 16 (under construction) Line under construction, opening: 2016.
Istanbul Line Symbol M6.png
Levent ↔ Boğaziçi Üniversitesi 3.3 km (under construction) 4 (under construction) Line under construction, opening: 2015.
Istanbul Line Symbol M7.png
Mecidiyeköy ↔ Mahmutbey 18 km (under construction) 15 (under construction) Line under construction, opening: 2018.
Istanbul Line Symbol M8.png
Bakırköy ↔ Beylikdüzu 25.0 km (planned) 17 (planned) Planned line.
Istanbul network with lines and extensions under construction through 2019, and including proposed lines and extensions.

European side[edit]

M3 metro line extension

Bakırköy-Kirazlı metro line. Planned line.

M7 metro line

The M7 Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey metro line is under construction. On December 20, 2013, the line was commissioned to Kalyon Group for construction.[37] The groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 9, 2014. The line will be 18 km (11 mi) long with 15 stations, and is expected to go into service in 2017.[38]

M8 metro line

Bakırköy-Beylikdüzü metro line. Planned line.

Yenikapı-Bakırköy metro line

Yenikapı-Bakırköy D.100 metro line. Planned line.

Asian side[edit]

The Üsküdar-Beykoz metro line will run parallel to the Bosporus shoreline.

M4 metro line

M4 Kadıköy-Kartal is being extended, and will eventually connect Sabiha Gökçen International Airport

  1. Yakacık (under construction)
  2. Pendik (under construction)
  3. Kaynarca (under construction)
M5 metro line

M5 Üsküdar-Çekmeköy

  1. Üsküdar (under construction)
  2. Fıstıkağacı (under construction)
  3. Bağlarbaşı (under construction)
  4. Altunizade (under construction)
  5. Kısıklı (under construction)
  6. Bulgurlu (under construction)
  7. Ümraniye (under construction)
  8. Çarşı (under construction)
  9. Yamanevler (under construction)
  10. Çakmak (under construction)
  11. Ihlamur Kuyu (under construction)
  12. Altınşehir (under construction)
  13. İmam Hatip (under construction)
  14. Dudullu (under construction)
  15. Necip Fazıl (under construction)
  16. Çekmeköy (under construction)
Future lines within the network: M5 (under construction), M6 (under construction), M7 (under construction) and M8 (planned)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Raylı Sistemler" [Rail Systems]. (in Turkish). İstanbul Ulaşim A.Ş. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  2. ^ "İstanbulun raylı sistem hatları taşımada rekor kırdı" [Istanbul's rail transport record-breaking lines]. Ray Haber [Rail News] (in Turkish). January 9, 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  3. ^ İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi. (2012-08-16). Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  4. ^ Rayli Sistemler. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  5. ^ "Tunnel". IETT. Retrieved 2014-12-18. 
  6. ^ "A brief history of the Underground - London Underground milestones". Transport for London. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  7. ^ International Chamber of Commerce (1 November 2003). Europe Review 2003/04: The Economic and Business Report (Fifth ed.). Kogan Page Publishers. p. 174. The world's second-oldest underground/metro system after London is identified by a large 'M'. 
  8. ^ TMMOB: "İstanbul Ulaştırmasının Dünü, Bugünü" (Güngör Evren)
  9. ^ Yıldız Technical University Faculty of Architecture Magazine (Megaron): "İki Fransız mimarı Henri Prost ve August Perret'nin İstanbul ile ilgili çalışmaları" (Işık Aydemir)
  10. ^ "Europe > Turkey > ISTANBUL Metro". UrbanRail.Net. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  11. ^ NTV-MSNBC: "10 soruda İstanbul Metrosu" (17 September 2000)
  12. ^ Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: "İstanbul Metrosu: Taksim – 4. Levent"
  13. ^ a b "Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Taksim-Yenikapı Metro Hattı". 2002-01-23. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  14. ^ a b "İstanbul Ulaşım: Metro Şişhane'den Maslak'a uzandı". 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  15. ^ "Metro, Şişhane’den Maslak’a uzadı". Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. 2009-01-30. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Taksim-Yenikapı Metro Hattı". Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality. Retrieved 2009-07-20. 
  18. ^ Anasayfa - Raytürk
  19. ^
  20. ^ Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Taksim - 4. Levent metro hattı
  21. ^ Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Taksim-Ayazağa-Hacıosman metro hattı
  22. ^ a b Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Taksim-Yenikapı metro hattı
  23. ^ Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Golden Horn metro bridge
  24. ^ "FUNİKÜLER SİSTEM Taksim - Kabataş". İstanbul Ulaşım. Retrieved 2009-06-20. 
  25. ^ "Marmaray Railway Engineering Project, Istanbul, Turkey". 
  26. ^ "Kadiköy - Kartal metro opened by Prime Minister". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  27. ^ İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  28. ^ Istanbul Ulasim. Istanbul Ulasim. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  29. ^ a b c "Istanbul Railway Network Map (complete, including under construction sections)". İstanbul Ulaşim A.Ş. 2014. Retrieved 2014-04-13. 
  30. ^ "PM Davutoğlu inaugurates İstanbul’s Aksaray-Yenikapı metro". Today's Zaman. 9 November 2014. Retrieved 9 November 2014. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  33. ^ Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality: Taksim-Yenikapı Metro Hattı
  34. ^ İstanbul Ulaşım: Metro Şişhane'den Maslak'a uzandı
  35. ^ İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  36. ^ İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyesi. Retrieved on 2013-08-12.
  37. ^ "İstanbul'a yeni metro". NTV MSNBC (in Turkish). 2013-12-20. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 
  38. ^ "Mecidiyeköy ile Mahmutbey, metro hattı ile birbirine bağlanıyor". Mynet Haber (in Turkish). 2014-02-09. Retrieved 2014-02-09. 

External links[edit]