Turkey's PM: Istanbul's rail system to reach 420 km in 2019

Erdogan expresses goal of Istanbul becoming city with second longest rail system

Erdogan expresses goal of Istanbul becoming city with second longest rail system

ISTANBUL - Turkey's Prime Minister expressed hopes on Sunday that Istanbul's rail transit system, which stretches 45 kilometers as of 2004, would extend another 420 km by 2019 before eventually reaching 776 km.

“We strive to make Istanbul rank second among the cities with the longest rail systems in the world,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed at the ceremony for Istanbul's new 18-km subway line, which he said would serve one million people daily.

The line will have stations in Mecidiyekoy, Kagithane, Alibeykoy and Mahmutbey.

Noting that Istanbul's population had doubled from 7.5 million during his mayoral term in the mid-90s to 15 million today, Erdogan said that he had attended on Saturday the opening ceremony for 20 roads and junctions which cost an investment of 54 million liras.

The tender for the Canal Istanbul, a sea level water-way connecting the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmara, is coming soon, he added.

Referring to the high costs and dense traffic of transport systems in major cities like London, Paris and New York, Erdogan said the new railways would make travel easier even if they could not solve all commuter problems.

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