Smart Rail Control for Turkey’s first Driverless Metro Line

By Bombadier 

How our advanced automated rail control technology helped the city of Istanbul realize the full potential of its first fully-driverless metro line

On the Asian side of Istanbul lies the charming Üsküdar district. Set along the waterfront, Üsküdar is one of Istanbul’s oldest neighborhoods and evolved around the local port that offered ferry connections to the European side of the city. Today, its spectacular city views and seaside character, as well as its many lush parks, historic buildings, and shopping, have made it one of Istanbul’s most densely-populated residential districts.

As part of a major programme to improve public transportation across Istanbul and provide improved mobility for the district’s residents, a plan was launched to build the second rapid transit line on the city’s Asian side. The vision of bringing better connectivity to the area took the shape of a 17-km, 16-stop metro line that would connect the Üsküdar area to the Çekmeköy neighborhood further east.

Called the M5 line, this would be Turkey’s first fully-driverless metro line with a capacity of over 1,600 passengers per-train. The project was delivered in two phases. The first phase, connecting the western terminus of Üsküdar to Yamnevler, opened in December of 2017, while the second and final section that stretched east to Çekmeköy was inaugurated a year later at the close of 2018.

Istanbul’s M5 line has been ranked as Europe’s highest-capacity, driverless metro.
To help meet the city’s passenger capacity challenge in the safest and most efficient way possible, Bombardier’s automated rail control technology was selected to serve as the brains behind the new M5 line. With the support of our advanced signalling technology, this M5 line has been ranked as Europe’s largest-capacity, driverless metro. 

Expanding mobility and increasing capacity with smart rail control

Bombardier’s CITYFLO 650 rail control is operating on the first fully driverless metro line in Turkey to improve public transportation in Istanbul.

The line’s automation and traffic are controlled by the proven BOMBARDIER CITYFLO 650 communications-based train control (CBTC) solution. This innovative technology supports high-capacity operations and regulates service according to fluctuating passenger demand. In addition, the installation of the BOMBARDIER EBI Screen automatic train supervision system has further improved the line’s performance with its efficient and centralised traffic management. The EBI Cab onboard automatic train control also increases mobility for passengers by reducing the headway between trains to as little as 90 seconds.

Fast facts: Istanbul’s metro line 5
20 kilometres of line
32 minutes journey end-to-end
180,000 daily riders
126 cars and 16 stations
334 trips per-day
8 minutes peak frequency

“It is rewarding to see how our first fully-automated rail control solution in Istanbul is helping to meet capacity challenges, increasing connectivity and easing congestion in one of the world’s largest cities”,Richard Hunter, Head of Rail Control Solutions and Wayside, Bombardier Transportation said.

Turkey’s mobility partner since 1989

Our contributions to improving urban mobility in Turkey began in 1989 when Istanbul’s Light Rail Metro, equipped with the BOMBARDIER CITYFLO 250 fixed block system, started operation. Since then we have also delivered this technology for the Sultan Ciftligi tram line (T4) in Istanbul and the Izmir Light Rail Metro, plus providing the CITYFLO 350 solution for the Istanbul Kirazlı-Ikitelli-Basaksehir-Olimpiyat Metro (M3) and Adana Metro systems.

Currently we are working on implementing similar driverless signalling systems with CITYFLO 650 communications-based train control technology for both the Kabataş-Mecidiyeköy-Mahmutbey (M7) and Bostancı-Dudullu (M8) metro lines

In August 2000, Bombardier Transportation, successfully launched an 11.5-km light rail system linking the downtown business area with the suburbs in Izmir, Turkey.

In 2001 the Istanbul Transport Authority (ITC) ordered 55 FLEXITY Swift low floor light rail vehicles

We have also delivered a fleet of BOMBARDIER FLEXITY Swift trams to Istanbul and improved mobility in Eskihir with a 23-vehicle BOMBARDIER FLEXITY Outlook Light Rail System in 2004.

Also focusing on mainline solutions, Bombardier is delivering its European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) technology in Turkey with the BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 250 ERTMS being installed on the Irmak-Karabük-Zonguldak line.

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