THE general manager of Turkish State Railways (TCDD), Mr Hasan Pezük, says 57% of civil works on the 177.5km Banaz - Eşme - Salihli - Manisa section of the 508km Ankara - İzmir high-speed line are complete.

Giving an update on the TCDD network expansion programme, he said the new line will shorten the distance by rail between Ankara and İzmir by 200km and reduce the journey time from 14 hours to 3h 30min while increasing capacity fourfold.

TCDD currently operates 13,919km of railway, including 11,668km of conventional lines and 219km of high-speed line. 846km of the network is equipped with signalling, and 7142km is electrified. Electrification is continuing on 555km of track, and signalling is being installed on 1460km of line.

Civil works on the Bursa - Yenişehir section of the Bursa - Osmaneli high-speed line have nearly been completed. The Gaziray commuter route in Gaziantep has entered service, and track quadrupling has been completed on the Mersin - Adana line.

Construction is 63% complete on the 153km Çerkezköy - Kapıkule section of the 229km Halkalı - Kapıkule high-speed line, which is begin funded through a €275m grant from the European Union.

“Work on the tender for the construction of Kapıkule station extension, which is one of the components of the project, is ongoing,” Pezük says. “A tender will be launched for the construction of four new stations on the route and upgrading the Çerkezköy and Edirne stations to make them suitable for high-speed operation.”

Work has begun on the Ispartakule - Çerkezköy and Halkalı - Ispartakule sections of the project.

Pezük says civil works on the 135km Karaman - Ulukışla high-speed line, the continuation of the Konya - Karaman high-speed line, are continuing and the tender for electrification works was launched at the end of June. Signalling works will be completed in parallel with infrastructure, track and electrification work.

Planning is ongoing for new high-speed lines including Erzincan - Erzurum - Kars, Antalya - Burdur/Isparta - Afyonkarahisar - Kütahya - Eskişehir, Antalya - Konya - Aksaray - Nevşehir - Kayseri, Samsun - Kırıkkale, and Gaziantep - Şanlıurfa - Mardin.

Pezük says TCDD has set targets as it works towards meeting the objectives of the 2053 transport and logistics masterplan prepared by the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, including:

  • increasing the length of the network to 28,590km
  • increasing its share of the passenger market from 0.96% to 6.2%
  • increasing TCDD’s share of the freight market from 5.08% to 21.93%
  • increasing the number of provinces connected by high-speed services from eight to 52
  • carrying 448 million tonnes of freight a year
  • increasing the number of logistics centres from 12 to 26, and
  • meeting 35% of its total energy requirements from renewable sources.

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