Urban Mobility in Istanbul

thyssenkrupp Elevator provides VT equipment for vast and growing metro system.

thyssenkrupp Elevator provides VT equipment for vast and growing metro system.

During a fall 2020 ceremony marking completion of excavation to make way for the Istanbul Metro’s Ataköy-İkitelli line, Istanbul Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu called a metro the “most valuable asset of a modern city.” Scheduled for completion in 2022, the new line will traverse 28 km, have 19 stations and be able to accommodate 105,000 passengers per hour. It will provide connections between the fast-transit line connecting Istanbul’s European side from the east to west, as well as between the Marmaray, Başakşehir-Kirazli and Aksaray Airport metro lines.

The line will include 12 stations served by thyssenkrupp Elevator equipment: 45 elevators, 116 escalators and six moving walks. The OEM is also providing 26 elevators and 100 escalators to the Kirazlı-Bakırköy Deniz Otobüsleri line. thyssenkrupp Elevator stated:

“Given the number of stops, long coverage and high transport capacity, the metro line will be among the most important ones in the city, with a high footfall. Therefore, heavy-duty victoria escalators, used in Europe, Asia and the Americas, will be installed. They are designed for 24/7, uninterrupted service and will provide safe mobility in all climatic conditions.”

Road traffic in Istanbul is often at its maximum capacity, thyssenkrupp Elevator observes, “making a well-connected, comfortable and efficient metro system essential.” The company has provided escalators and other equipment to metros in Sydney, São Paulo, Madrid, London and Beijing. thyssenkrupp Elevator is no stranger to the Istanbul Metro system, as it has provided approximately 70% of its mobility equipment. “In a metropolis like this, an efficient public-transportation system is crucial and helps bring Istanbul to the first league of European megacities in terms of urban mobility,” thyssenkrupp Elevator CEO Peter Walker says.

thyssenkrupp Elevator spokesman Michael Ridder tells ELEVATOR WORLD the units are built to withstand Istanbul’s wind; water; and, occasionally, snow. The units have a 145-kg step load and are able to stop in any incident. Increased lower and upper curvature diameters provide a smoother ride, Ridder observes. The victoria model features a strengthened truss and step-roller chains located on the outside to ensure longer life and easy maintenance. Augmented safety features include a missing-step safety device indicator, broken handrail and derailment detection and brake-function monitoring.

These features are also standard tender specifications of all Istanbul Metro projects:

  • Drive-chain monitoring by initiator
  • Brake-wear indicator
  • Cover-plate contact
  • Step-thrust device at upper and lower transitions
  • Solenoid auxiliary brake on main shaft
  • Float switch for water detection in the truss
  • Vertical combplate switch
  • Single-row skirt brush
  • Skirt monitoring via four microswitches

A Long History

Construction of and improvements to Istanbul’s metro system have generated work for vertical-transportation (VT) OEMs since Istanbul Metro was established in 1988. The VT system includes many remarkable units, such as two funicular cars supplied and installed by Doppelmayr Tramways Ltd. (now known as Doppelmayr Garaventa Group) for the underground Taksim-Kabataş funicular system linking the modern part of the city to suburbs on the opposite bank of the Bosporus[1] that opened in 2006.[2]

“Road traffic in Istanbul is often at its maximum capacity, thyssenkrupp Elevator observes,
‘making a well-connected, comfortable and efficient metro system essential.’ ”

For the Marmaray Project, the underwater rail link between Asia and Europe, which opened in 2013, Schindler provided 10 elevators and 63 escalators. That job included fitting four escalators that, at 65 m, are among the tallest in Europe.[3]

Hyundai Elevator Turkey provided 196 escalators serving 16 stations of the 18-km-long Üsküdar-Umraniye-Çemekŏy line, with the highest unit having a vertical height of 19.4 m and horizontal length of 41.5 m.[4]

A Consistent Role

thyssenkrupp Elevator has played a consistent role. For Marmaray, it provided nearly 350 units: 191 elevators and 155 escalators. That job included numerous panoramic elevators and VT equipment built (like the most recently installed victoria escalators) for heavy use and harsh weather. Improvements to the underground line, which included upgraded track and renovations to 36 stations, was completed several years ago.[5]

For the 18-km-long Mecidiyekŏy-Mahmutbey line, boasting the first self-driving vehicles on the European side of Istanbul, thyssenkrupp Elevator provided 225 escalators and 108 elevators. Part of the M7 metro line, it runs between Kabataş and Mahmutbey and connects eight districts of Istanbul. It was opened to much fanfare on October 28, 2020, one day before Turkey’s Republic Day. Masked passengers flocked to use it, but İmamoğlu was unable to attend, since he was in the hospital receiving treatment for COVID-19. Joining the festivities via teleconference, İmamoğlu observed Istanbul residents would be allowed to use the line for free during its first 10 days of operation and that it is expected to carry approximately 140,000 passengers per hour.[6]

[1] “Istanbul — The Tunnels,” (funimag.com/
[2] wikipedia.org/wiki/F1_
Taksim%E2%80%93Kabata%C5%9F_funicular_ line
[3] “Schindler’s Contribution to Marmaray Project,” ELEVATOR WORLD, February 2014.
[4] “Escalators of First Smart Underground are
Entrusted to Hyundai Elevator Turkey,” EW Turkey, January 2017.
5] “thyssenkrupp to Supply 346 Units for Tunnel
Project,” EW, September 2013.
[6] “Istanbul M7 Metro Extension Opens Ahead of
Turkey’s Republic Day,” T-VINE, October 28, 2020.

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Elevator World | February 2021 Cover