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Turkey’s undersea rail-link uses Schindler’s lifts

Elevators and escalators can move 75,000 people per hour

NEWS, Projects, Elevators, Escalators, Marmaray Project, Schindler

Elevators and escalators capable of moving 75,000 people per hour to a Turkish underground railway connecting two continents has been the latest project undertaken by mobility engineers Schindler.

A total of 10 lifts and 63 moving staircases serve the first Europe to Asia rail-link, which runs under the Bosphorus Strait, the busy shipping channel which links the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea.

The Marmaray Project connects two parts of Istanbul, running from Halkhali in Europe to Gebze in Asia.

Schindler’s task was to get passengers in one of the region’s busiest cities down to the 56m deep line with its brief calling for safety, reliability and with the use of as little energy as possible.

Engineers calculated the optimum sites for the people movers and designed four escalators 65m in length – among the longest in the region.

Routes were mapped to ensure the flow of people would be as fast as possible during rush hour as the majority of passengers are commuters.

Gaetano Conca is head of the Swiss firm’s Turkish operations.

He said: “The Marmaray Project not only represents a strengthening of Schindler’s reputation for realising landmark Turkish public transportation systems, it also contributes to the strong growth we are currently seeing in Turkey.”

The tunnels are the deepest immersed tubes in the world – other similar designs, such as the UK and France’s Channel Tunnel, have the tubes bored through the seabed.

Fire resistant concrete, developed in Norway, was also a key component of the project which has been designed to resist powerful earthquakes – it is near the North Anatolian Fault which is a major source of seismic activity.

Each segment of the tunnel is independently watertight with floodgates at the joints as a back-up measure. Engineers also pumped hardening gout into the unstable seabed to solidify it.

A number of important archaeological finds, dating back 8000 years, as well as contractural disputes delayed the railway’s completion, but it is now operational.

Steen Lykke, on-site manager for international consortium Avrasyaconsul t which oversaw the $2bn development, said: “I can’t think of any challenge this project lacks.”

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