An Istanbul subway line is set to be Turkey’s first-ever high-speed metro line, the country's transport and infrastructure minister said on Friday.
Cahit Turhan said that the metro line between the Gayrettepe district and the new mega-Istanbul Airport will clock in at a super-fast 120 kilometers per hour (74.5 miles per hour).
He said that as of today, drilling of the 30-kilometer (18.6 miles) tunnel from Hasdal in the Eyup district to the airport has been completed.
Turhan also highlighted that Istanbulites are looking forward to seeing the project completed.
The minister added that normal subway lines have a maximum speed of 80 kph (50 mph), but in order to get to the airport faster, this line’s speed was boosted to 120 kph.
The distance between Gayrettepe and the Istanbul Airport is roughly 40 kilometers (25 miles).
He said in order to finish the project quickly, over 4,000 people were employed and 10 tunnel boring machines were used simultaneously.
The project set a world record with 64.5 meters (212 feet) of excavations per day, 333 meters (1,092 feet) of excavations per week, and 1,233 (4,045 feet) meters of excavations per month, he said.
"Istanbul Airport will be completely connected to the city," said Turhan, adding there will be three different metro stations at the airport.
Istanbul Airport has the capacity to welcome 90 million passengers annually. Following the second phase of the airport construction, annual passengers are expected to total 200 million.
By Ugur Aslanhan