WORK has begun on the 508km Ankara - Afyonkarahisar - Uşak - İzmir high-speed line in Turkey following a ground-breaking ceremony in Afyonkarahisar on August 30. After giving a speech in central Afyonkarahisar, Turkish president, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, made a video call to minister of transport and infrastructure, Mr Adil Karaismailoğlu, who launched work on the project.

When completed in 2025, the 250km/h line will reduce the journey time from Afyonkarahisar to Ankara to 1h 30min, 3h 30min to Istanbul, and 2 hours to Izmir.

The British government announced in March it will guarantee a €2.1bn loan to finance the line. The financing is led by Credit Suisse and Standard Chartered Bank and will be guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF) through its Buyer Credit Scheme.

Construction of the line is divided into four sections:

  • Polatli (just south of the junction where the Ankara - Istanbul and Ankara - Konya high-speed lines diverge) - Afyonkarahisar
  • Afyonkarahisar - Banaz (Usak)
  • Banaz (Usak) - Salihli (Manisa), and
  • Salihli (Manisa) - Menemen (Izmir).

Construction of the 151.2km Polatli - Afyonkarahisar section started in 2013 but was suspended in 2018. The ERG joint venture of three sister companies, ERG International, ERG Insaat Ticaret ve Sanayi (ERG Construction) and Sauerwein & Schaefer Bau (SSB), was awarded a contract to finish the incomplete infrastructure works of Section 1, which includes superstructure, electrification and signalling.

For detailed data on high-speed rail projects from around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.