Existing Systems

Eskisehir (Kayseri)



Istanbul - Where east meets west

Istanbul Metro Logo.png
Istanbul lies partly in Asia and partly in Europe.  Like Ankara, this city is a veritable traction fan's paradise. It sports a full metro, light a light rail subway, a standard light rail line, two heritage tramways and a funicular subway originally built in the 1870's. Three monorali lines are also planned


Subway (Metro)

Istanbul currently has three metro lines, but more are on the way !

In August 2000, the first of Istanbul's metro lines opened. Line M2's starter section was 8.5 km with 6 stations.  Finally, considering the system was in planning since the late 1800's. And you thought your city fathers dragged their feet! The second section consisting of 5.4 km and 4 stations, opened in 2009.  The line, Line M1, is currently 19.9 km long. A 3.5 km extension to M2 is expected to open in 2013.

The 21.6 km, 16 station line M4 opened in August 2012.  It is also the first metro line on the Asian side of Istanbul.  

Just a month later in October 2012, the Y-shaped Line M3 opened. Stretching 15.9 km and serving 11 stations, the underground line serves the northwestern party of Istanbul and is as yet disconnected from the rest of the Metro system.

The system is entirely underground, with the exception of a small section which crosses a bridge on the new extension. Eventually, this city of 10 million, which stretches for over 100 km east to west, plans on converting many of it's suburban lines to metro status, including a subway connection under the Bosphoros via massive tunnel project currently under construction known as the
Marmary Tunnel.  Although this section will technically run commuter rail, the metro like cars and station layouts make it more like a subway than a commuter rail. It will, therefore, be the first metro linking Asia and Europe.

Most recent to open is a second metro on the European side - the M3 - originally due to open in 2011, and finally opened in June 2013. This completely underground 15.9 km line connects Esenler with the Olympiad Park and Basaksehir in the north part of the city.

All extensions and lines under construction are as follows: (June  2013):

- M1 southern extension: Yenikapi (2013)
- M2 southern extension: Sishane-Yenikapi (2013)

- M4 Kartal-Kaynarca (2013)

- M6 Üsküdar ↔ Çekmeköy–Sancaktepe (2015)

- Marmaray: Halkali - Gebze (Autumn 2013)
- MiniMetro Levent ↔ Hisarüstü (2014)

Line M5 was also expected to open in March 2012, but it has yet to receive security certification.

As in all subways, watch out for thieves, rapists and

New Eurotem built Istanbul subway cars

Istanbul Ulasim (Istanbul Transportation) home page
Istanbul page
Istanbul subway
construction photos and information
Transport A Istanbul
Wikipedia page
Enka construction info on subway stations with pics

File:Istanbul lrt.jpg
Light Rail (Mini-Metro, or, Hafif-Metro)

In 1989 a light rail line, also known as the M1, was built from Aksaray towards the western suburbs. In 1995 it was extended to Yeni Bosna. Line one has a total length of 18 km with 2- stops, running  underground for 5.2 km through the city centre and two other sections.  The line is also known as the Hafif Metro, perhaps because it is Halfof a Metro.

2011 saw the second Hafif Metro line, line M3, open. It spans 5.8 km.


Istanbul has five tram lines, one of which, Line T4, is similar to light rail enough that it is sometimes confused with the Hafif Metro. This 14.9 km line opened it's initial section in 2007. In 2009, another extension was added
A 15.7 km Line 2 of the Hafif Metro opened it's initial section in 2007 About one third of the line (5.8 km) is underground, and a transfer to the M1 can now be made. The line is mostly grade seperated, and the central city section is above ground. This is because the line was originally designed as a tram but later upgraded to light rail just before construction began.

In the 1990's a modern tram line was put into service through the older parts of the city. An airport extension from Yeni Bosna station extended the Hafif metro's Line 1 to the airport, giving it a total length of 20 km.

Metro Sign, Istanbul, Turkey

Hafif Metro home page


The 10.3 km., 19 station Aksaray-Sirkeci Tram System opened in 1991. Built along the alignment of an old tram line system in the Historical Peninsula of Istanbul, the tramway line runs from runs from Eminonu/Sirkeci station via Aksaray to Zeytinburnu, just outside the South-Western city walls. A branch also runs from Aksaray to the Esenler bus station.

Yapi Merkezy site


Funicular Subway

Tünel connects the bridge of Galata to the bottom of Istiklal Cad., just on the level of the terminus of the tram. Price identical to the bus. The line, built in 1875, is perhaps the world's shortest subway - a mere 573 meters. Trains operate every 3.5 minutes and a trip takes 1.5 minutes. The upper station is linked to Taksim Square by a vintage tram.

Istanbul funicular subway (from
Osamu's site)
Tünel page
tünel history - and future

Heritage tramway

The 1.6 km Beyoglu tramway runs along a single line along the length of Istiklal to it's end at Tünel. The line opened in 1990.  Beyoglu comprises the "night life" of Istanbul. In 2004, a new 8 station, 2.65 km heritage tramway opened in Istanbul.

Construction of a
new tourist tram line was announced in December 2010. It is scheduled to open in May 2011, just five months from the announcement.

A map
Images from Osamu Abe's site
The Turkey Program from Associated Colleges of the South - Transportation in Turkey