THE start of work on the 26km Konyaray Suburban Line project was marked with a ceremony held at Meram station in the city of Konya on April 30, attended by Turkish State Railways (TCDD) general manager, Mr Hasan Pezük, and mayor of Konya, Mr Uğur İbrahim Altay.

Following an existing railway alignment, the first stage of the project will comprise 17.4km of double track running northwards from Konya’s main station to the airport. The new line is expected to cut the journey time to the airport from 1 hour by road at present to 30 minutes.

The second stage will extend the line northwards from the airport to the Organised Industrial Zone, and southwards from the city centre to Yaylapinar, taking the total length of the Konyaray Suburban Line to 26km. There will be 19 stations in total.

The project is due to be completed in two years. The Konyaray Suburban Line is expected to carry 90,000 passengers a day, playing an important role in bringing workers to the industrial zone, serving the Karatay and Selçuklu districts and helping to relieve rush-hour traffic congestion in Konya.

“The quality of life in Konya will improve, and life for the citizens of Konya will become easier,” said Turkey’s minister of transport and infrastructure, Mr Adil Karaismailoğlu, joining the ceremony by video conference.

“It is our duty to finish this project and put it into service as soon as possible.”

Pezük added: “With this project that will connect Konya railway station, the city centre, organised industrial zones and other industrial centres, the airport, logistics centre and Pınarbaşı, our citizens will be provided with fast, comfortable, reliable and economical public transport.”

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