THE European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has allocated a €150m loan to the Turkish government for the construction of the 67km Ispartakule - Cerkezkoy section of the Halkali - Kapikule line from Istanbul to the Bulgarian border.

China based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is considering parallel financing for the section and the Turkish government will provide the remaining funds needed for the €640m project.

The line forms part of the electrified Halkali - Kapikule line, construction of which is co-financed by the European Union (EU) through a €275m grant from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) funds, and forms part of the EU Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). The line will have a maximum speed of 200km/h, and will be equipped with ETCS Level 1.

The Ispartakule - Cerkezkoy section will be tendered and built in line with the EBRD’s procurement rules and environmental and social standards. Turkey’s Directorate General of Infrastructure Investments has also committed to implementing a series of measures to promote greater career opportunities for women and to create working conditions in which women thrive.

“The loan for the construction of the Ispartakule - Cerkezkoy line builds on more than four years of joint work by the EBRD and the Turkish authorities on legal and regulatory reforms aimed at improving the commercialisation of the railway sector and providing opportunities for greater private-sector participation,” says EBRD managing director for Turkey, Mr Arvid Tuerkner.

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