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Istanbul's newest metro line designed with BIM

Peter Smisek

03 November 2017

ISTANBUL’s newest metro line, the M7, is the first public project in Turkey to see building information modelling (BIM) used at design stage. 

The new line connects the waterfront Kabatas district on the European side of the Bosporus, with the city’s western suburbs and consists of 24.5km of track that links 19 stations. 

Above: Mecidiyeköy – Tekstilkent, one of the major sections of the new metro, broke through in February 2017 (image courtesy of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality).

The project broke ground in February 2014, with the first 18km section of the M7 set to open in late 2018 and the rest of the line due to complete two years later.

Its projected capacity during peak times is 70,000 commuters travelling in each direction, with a journey time from one end of the line to the other taking just under 32 minutes.

Above: The construction works took place beneath a built-up section of inner Istanbul (image courtesy of ADSK Infrastructure).

At a cost of USD $1BN, the project included bridging a valley, as well as tunneling underneath important archaeological sites.


Two general contractors, Gülermak-Kolin-Kalyon consortium and Alarko Contracting Group, are leading the programme with a combined team of over 3,850 people.

Above: A visualisation of one of the new stations on Istanbul's M7 metro line (image courtesy of ProtaBIM).

BIM was used during the design and planning phase of the scheme and in consultation with over 200 public, private and corporate stakeholders. It is estimated (by the project team) that working in a BIM environment increased the effectiveness of decision making in the early stages of the project and delivered budget savings of 18%.

Above and Below: Graphical information models enabled better co-ordination between more than 200 stakeholders, eventually resulting in estimatred budget savings of 18% (image above courtesy of ProtaBIM, image below courtesy of ADSK Engineering).

As the largest metro line tendered in Istanbul to date, it is hoped that this exemplar project will increase BIM-awareness among contractors and Turkish transportation stakeholders. You can see some visuals of the project under development in the video below. 

Above: A video explaining the use of BIM in Istanbul's new M7 metro line (video courtesy of ADKS Infrastructure).


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