This week, the Marmaray project finally opened in Turkey, which is the world’s first tunnel that connects two continents. The underwater rail tunnel also runs underneath the Bosphorus Strait and is more than 55 meters down, which currently makes it the deepest submerged railway tunnel.
The Marmaray project started in 2005 and experience some construction delays due to archaeological finds. The Turkish government hopes that this is just a small step forward to have a train route for rail travel between Western Europe and China. This could mean that in the future, it will be possible to travel from Beijing to London via Istanbul by train.
Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım commented that:
Turkey has always been at the center of the Silk Road. We are quite aware of our responsibility. In that vein, we strived to complete the historical Marmaray project, implementing unprecedented engineering technology. This project connects Asia with Europe, to restore the once internationally important Silk Road.