09:06

30.10.13

2 min.

Bulgaria to profit from new Turkish Marmaray tunnel from from 2014

StandartNews |

Bulgaria to profit from new Turkish Marmaray tunnel from from 2014

After 150 years of waiting the dream Marmaray connects Europe and Asia. Photo: Reuters

On October 29, the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Republic Turkey fulfilled its dream of 150 years and started the first train in the Marmaray tunnel, which passes under the Bhosphorus. Part of the cargo that will move between Europe and Asia in the new tunnel will pass through Bulgaria. From that, our country will win a lot - not only from the increased volume of road and rail fees of the passing trucks and trains, but also from the related transportation support activities such as service, marketing , etc, Standart daily reports.


However, in spite of the optimistic expectations, the transit of goods between the Asian part of Turkey and Central Europe passing through Bulgaria will grow only slowly due to the tragic situation of the domestic road and rail infrastructure.


It is expected that for Bulgaria, the growth from Marmaray will be only significant from the middle of 2015, after the country has completed the full rehabilitation of the railway sections Dimitrovgrad - Svilengrad (65 km) and September - Plovdiv (53 km). If Bulgaria upgrades its railway network , Germany and Austria will also send transit trains through Bulgaria.It is therefore a key priority of the Ministry of Transport to provide funds for the renovation of these lines under the new new OP "Transport 2014-2020 ".


After 9 years of construction, the Turkish authorities call the longest 13.6 km stretch which connects Asia and Europe the ''project of the century''. 1.4 kilometers of it will go 60 meters underwater.


Apart from an increase of the cargo traffic, the tunnel will also facilitate intercontinental traffic for the busy daily commuters of millions of people from one side to the other side of Istanbul.


"It was a dream for 150 years, which today is a reality " said in August Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Yesterday, a new route opened in the Üsküdar district on the Asian side of Istanbul with a glittering ceremony. The opening was attended by a number of officials and ministers , including Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, his Romanian counterpart Victor Ponta and Bulgarian Transport Minister Danail Papazov.


Marmaray is a rail transport project in the Turkish city of Istanbul. It comprises an undersea rail tunnel under the Bosphorus strait, and the modernization of existing suburban railway lines along the Sea of Marmara from Halkalı on the European side to Gebze on the Asian side. Construction started in 2004, with an initial target opening date of April 2009. After multiple delays due to historical finds, the first phase of the project opened on October 29, 2013.


The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the European Investment Bank have provided major financing for the project. The total cost of the project is expected to be approximately USD 2.5 billion US dollars. Costs were increased by approximately USD 500 million due to the archaeological delays.



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