WORK is now underway on a 142km high-speed line between Yerköy and Kayseri, following an official groundbreaking ceremony for the project that was attended via video link by Turkey’s president, Mr Recep Erdoğan.

The new route leaves the Ankara – Sivas high-speed line at Yerköy. It will shorten the distance by rail from Yerköy to Kayseri to 142km from 170km via the existing conventional line.

The new double track and electrified route will cut the journey time by rail between Yerköy and Kayseri from 3h 30min to under 1 hour. The journey time by rail between the Turkish capital Ankara and Kayseri will also be reduced from 7 hours to 2 hours.

Civil works will include the construction of 15 tunnels with a total length of 16km, as well as 118 highway underpasses, 18 highway overbridges and 184 culverts.

According to the minister of transport and infrastructure, Mr Adil Karaismailoğlu, the new railway will enable 11 million passengers and 650,000 tonnes of freight to be carried each year between Ankara, Yerköy and Kayseri.

Between completion in 2025 and 2054, the Yerköy - Kayseri high-speed line is expected to produce benefits worth a total of €10.5bn, including €4.1bn from journey time savings for passenger and freight traffic, €1.4bn from reduced air, water and noise pollution, and €5bn in reduced highway maintenance costs.

“We introduced our country to the comfort of high-speed trains for the first time in its history,” Erdoğan says. “We want Kayseri to benefit from this.”

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