ISTANBUL, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- A metro line linking central Istanbul with Istanbul Airport has begun its trial operation with China-made vehicles on Monday. The line, due to open next year, will be the fastest metro line in Turkey at 120 km per hour.
A subway train, designed and produced by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd., departed from Kagithane Station on the European side of the city to Istanbul Airport Station at 10 a.m. local time (0700 GMT) on Monday.
As the train reached 120.75 km/h, Turkish Transport and Infrastructure Minister Adil Karaismailoglu, who took part in the test drive, announced in front of Turkey's main media that the train had set a new speed record for the Turkish metro.
Li Yangyang, general manager of CRRC-MNG Rail System Vehicles Industry and Trade Ltd. (CRRC-MNG), a China-Turkey joint venture, said during the trial run of about 37.5 km, the China-made subway train showed high-quality performance in its stability, speed, and efficiency.
"Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, CRRC staff overcame various difficulties and completed the production of the new subway trains in just six months," Li said.
On Jan. 15, 2020, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd. signed the purchase and commissioning project contract of 176 subway vehicles for the Istanbul Airport subway line with Turkey's Directorate-General of Infrastructure Investments. The contract requires a 60-percent localization rate in Turkey and a design speed of 120 km per hour.
The new subway line of Istanbul will meet the transportation needs of millions of local residents and tourists.
Qin Bo, manager of the enterprise management department in CRRC-MNG, said the subway line is one of the important transportation links that connects the airport and downtown Istanbul with a daily capacity of more than 600,000 passengers.
"We anticipate that the total saving (of the new metro line) will be approximately 2.64 billion euros (3.04 billion U.S. dollars) between 2024-2043 in terms of road maintenance costs, reduction of air pollution and travel time," Karaismailoglu was quoted as saying by the state-own broadcaster TRT. Enditem