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Izmir tramway inaugurated

Intending passengers await the first services on the new tramway in Izmir. (Image credit: Izmir Büyüksehir Belediyesi)

Metropolitan Mayor Aziz Kocaoglu inaugurated the first tramline in the Turkish city of Izmir on 11 April. The 8.8km (5.5-mile) Karsiyaka tramway cost TRY450m (EUR116.6m), and runs for 14 stops along the waterfront on the north side of the Bay of Izmir from Alaybey to Atasehir railway station on the Izban commuter rail network via the ferry terminal. Passenger service is free until June.

Work on the project started in April 2015 and testing commenced in January 2017. Civil works were carried out by Turkish contractor Gülermak.

Service is every three minutes at peak and every five minutes off-peak using 17 32m articulated low-floor trams designed by Hyundai Rotem and assembled in Turkey by the joint venture with Tüvasas at the Adapazari railway workshops. A further 21 are being delivered for the 12.9km (eight-mile) Konak line on the other side of the bay, which is due to open later in the year.

There are plans to extend the Karsiyaka line to Katip Celebi University, and to Cigli Izban station, with construction starting this year. Izmir has had a light metro line, partly underground, since 2000, built as an ADtranz turnkey project. By 2014 it was 20.1km (12.5 miles) long with six-car sets providing a four-minute peak service.