The Turkish Treasury and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a loan agreement amounting to 150 million euros ($183 million) to finance an ongoing mega rail project in Istanbul, according to an official statement on March 1.
“The loan will be utilized to meet the additional financing requirements of the Marmaray Project, which is implemented by the General Directorate of Infrastructure Investments,” the Undersecretariat of Treasury stated.
According to the Treasury, the loan will be used for partial financing of a sub-project of suburban line improvements and electromechanical systems within the Marmaray Project.
The first leg of the project, a 13.6-kilometer-long tunnel built 60 meters below the sea level, was launched on Oct. 29, 2013, as a part of the 90th anniversary celebrations for the founding of the Republic of Turkey.
Around 5.5 billion Turkish Liras ($2.5 billion) were spent for the sub-sea railway tunnel part, which was constructed by a Turkish-Japanese consortium.
Connecting Asia and Europe with an uninterrupted railway network under the Bosphorus, the Marmaray reduces travel time between the two continents to four minutes. On a yearly basis, over 60 million passengers use the Marmaray to cross the sea.