May 10, 2018

TCDD high-speed services to reach central Istanbul this year

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High-speed services currently terminate at Pendik to the east of Istanbul pending the reopening of the rail link into the city.  High-speed services currently terminate at Pendik to the east of Istanbul pending the reopening of the rail link into the city. David Briginshaw

IRJ at UIC World Congress on High-Speed Rail: Turkey’s transport minister Mr Ahmet Arslan told delegates at the UIC World Congress on High-Speed Rail in Ankara this week that Turkish State Railways (TCDD) YHT high-speed services will be extended from their current terminus in the eastern suburb of Pendik to the centre of the city by the end of 2018.

This will be made possible by the completion of the much-delayed project to rebuild the railway from Gebze via Pendik to Haydarpasa and Ayrilik Çeşmesi to connect with the Marmaray tunnel under the Bosporus, which opened in 2013. The rail link from Sirkeci and Kazliçeşme to Halkali on the European side is also being restored.

The project involved reconstructing the existing double-track line with two tracks for Marmaray commuter trains and one track for main line trains, which will be used by high-speed services during the day and freight at night.

TCDD Transport plans to operate high-speed trains from Ankara and Konya to both the original terminus at Haydarpasa and to Halkali.

The 13.6km Marmaray service between Ayrilik Çeşmesi and Kazliçeşme carried an average of 5.3 million passengers per month in 2017. The extended service to Gebze and Halkali is expected to carry 1.5 million passengers per day and increase rail’s share of urban transport from 12% to 28%.

Freight trains have been using two train ferries to bridge the gap in the rail network through Istanbul.

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