La Farga joins two continents under the sea

La Farga joins two continents under the sea :The underwater rail link joining East and West, with La Farga rail technology.La Farga is supplying the cables for the railway electrification of the Marmaray project, a new 76 km rail link between Halkali and Gebze (Turkey). Part of the new rail link is above ground, while the other part consists of tunnels underneath the Istanbul Strait. This revolutionary railway project is already up and running.

The rail link between Halkali (European side) and Gebze (Asian side) is evidence of a firm commitment to providing the country with an improved rail network, making it more accessible through new, innovative, modern and fast rail infrastructures.

This is a large-scale project, perhaps one of the largest in terms of railway transport infrastructures. There are approximately 76 km of new rail tracks, including a 1.4 km long immersed tube tunnel at a depth of 56 metres. The project also consists of three new underground stations and the improvement and refurbishment of 27 existing stations etc. The maximum operational speed of the train is 100 km/hour, while the time between trains is estimated at 120-600 seconds, which requires a fleet of 440 new trains.

La Farga is one of the key suppliers in this huge railway project, unique in the world, entrusted with the task of carrying out the railway electrification of the 76 km of rail tracks. Since 2013 it has been supplying the project with high-performance copper contact wire and bronze cables.

Miquel Garcia, Managing Director of La Farga Lacambra and La Farga Rod, stated, “We are pioneers in the development of cutting-edge copper materials and products, which is why we have been selected for the Marmaray project, a challenge with a high technological component”.
La Farga joins two continents under the sea
The notion of constructing a railway tunnel under the Istanbul Strait was first raised in 1860. At this time the idea was to construct a floating tunnel supported on pillars constructed on the seabed. As the years went by the project was perfected. The technique used in the Marmaray Project to cross the Istanbul Strait (the immersed tube tunnel technique) was developed in the late 19th century. The first time that a tunnel was constructed using this technique, for the purpose of goods transport, was in the USA: the Michigan Central Railroad tunnel in 1906-1910. In Europe, Holland was the first country to adopt the technique; Rotterdam’s Maas Tunnel was inaugurated in 1942. In Asia, Japan was the first country to adopt these techniques in 1994, in Osaka.

The wish to construct a public rail link from west to east in Istanbul and under the Istanbul Strait was gathering momentum in the early 1980s. During this period various technical and demographic feasibility studies of the project were carried out. Finally, In 1999 the project began to take shape from a financial perspective and the entire process is now up and running; the underwater tunnel has been inaugurated and is operational.

Currently, a journey from Halkali to Gebze takes approximately three hours, including the ferry crossing from Sirkeci to Haydarpaşa. With the new Marmaray railway, the journey time will be one hour and forty-five minutes, which means that each passenger will save approximately one hour and fifteen minutes on each journey, with no need to change trains. The railway is currently used by 10,000 passengers and this number is expected to rise to 75,000 with the new project. The efficiency of railway systems in the world’s major cities is calculated via the percentage of all journeys made via railway and subway systems against the total number of journeys made. The percentage is 60% in Tokyo, 31% in New York, 22% in London, 25% in Paris… but just 3.6% in Istanbul. It is estimated that this percentage will increase to 28% when the Marmaray project is fully operational.

A project with a high technological component in which La Farga is once again a key supplier.
A pioneer in the railway sector, La Farga offers a full range of products which the industry requires, distinguishing itself by its policy of constant innovation. In 2012, it reached 1 billion euros in sales, completing railway projects in more than 16 countries.

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