By using this site, you agree with our cookies usage in accordance with our cookies policy. You can always disable cookies in your browser settings.



Istanbul metro launches two unmanned lines with trains by Hyundai Rotem and CRRC

30 January 2023
Reading time ~ 4 min
New Hyundai Rotem trains at Line M8 of the Istanbul metro
New Hyundai Rotem trains at Line M8 of the Istanbul metro. Source: Ekrem İmamoğlu/twitter
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 4 min
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Türkiye: In January, two unmanned lines were launched in Istanbul: M8 and a part of M11. As both operate at the highest grade of automation, GoA4, screen doors are used at the platforms.

Line M8 with Hyundai Rotem trains opened to the public on January 6. The line is served by 10 four-car EMUs. Each 86 m long and 2.9 m wide train-set with a local content of 50% can accommodate 1,081 passengers and reach 80 km/h. The $143 m contract was signed in December 2017 between the city and the Korean manufacturer. Of 30 trains to be produced, 10 will operate on Line M8 and 20 on Line M7. Hyundai assembles trains at its plant in Adzapari operated by the Eurotem joint venture of Hyundai Rotem and Türasaş.

The end-to-end journey on Line M8 which is 14.3 km long and has 13 stations takes 25 minutes. With expected intervals of 90 s and a maximum speed of 80 km/h, trains can carry up to 44,400 passengers an hour in each direction. The construction of the line began in 2016 but was suspended in 2019 due to lacking funding.

Interior of Hyundai Rotem operating at Line M8. Interior of Hyundai Rotem operating at Line M8. Source: terasmagazin

Platform screen doors at one of the stations on Line M8 of the Istanbul metro Platform screen doors at one of the stations on Line M8 of the Istanbul metro. Source: wikipedia

Also, on January 22, 10 four-car train-sets each carrying 1,100 passengers started service on Line M11. Their manufacturer, CRRC, and Türkiye’s General Directorate of the Infrastructural Investment signed a contract for the supply of 44 EMUs for $221.8 mln back in January 2020.

According to CRRC, the trains for Line M11 capable of reaching 120 km/h are the first driverless metro project the company implemented in the foreign market. The rolling stock with a required 60% localisation rate is supplied in two batches. The first 10 trains have already been manufactured at CRRC’s plant in Zhuzhou. The remaining 34 will be built at an Ankara-based plant of the joint venture of CRRC and MNG Group, Türkiye. All in all, CRRC supplied more than 400 metro cars for Istanbul, Ankara, and İzmir over the last 10 years.

EMU by CRRC for Line M11 at the Zhuzhou plant EMU by CRRC for Line M11 at the Zhuzhou plant. Source:

M11 is planned to extend to 69.1 km with 16 stations. Today a part of 35.7 km with 9 stations is in service already. The average distance of 4.3 km between stations is the reason why the operating speed of up to 120 km/h with the minimum interval of 300 s was envisaged. As President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated, Line M11 will be able to carry up to 800,000 passengers per day and make it possible to cover the route between the airport and the central district of Kâğıthane in 24 minutes.

Line M11 is believed to be the fastest in Europe. According to the analysis of public sources by ROLLINGSTOCK Agency, only metro systems in Chine have a comparable operating speed. Similar trains also by CRRC were put in operation at Line 16 of the Hangzhou Metro in 2020. The lines there are much the same as the average distance between stations is 2.9 km (12 stations per 35.1 km).