Railway heritage of Istanbul and the Marmaray Project
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This study explores the significance of Istanbul's railway heritage and discusses the criteria for evaluating the historical importance architectural value and social issues surrounding the city's rail system leading into an examination of the consequences of the Marmaray Project. The Marmaray Project is a commuter rail system designed to unify Istanbul's two independent rail transportation systems and it will connect Halkali on the European side with Gebze on the Asian side of the city. With the beginnings of rail construction in the 1870s the waters of the Bosphorus separated the Oriental Railway on the European side from the Anatolian and the Baghdad Railway preventing a direct connection between Europe and Asia. The Marmaray Project will actualize this universal long desired dream via an under water tunnel. However the design of the project bears significant risks for the city's railway heritage dating back to the 19th and 20th centuries. At risk are structures used by travelers lodgings ateliers depots water closets (WC's) underpasses retaining walls bridges and old trees.