The contract is worth €285m including maintenance and delivery is due to start in 2016. The 200m-long eight-car trains will accommodate more than 500 passengers, and are based on the Velaro-D trains which Siemens is currently building for German Rail (DB).

These are the first 300km/h trains to be ordered by TCDD, which currently operates a fleet of 250km/h emus supplied by CAF on its first two high-speed lines linking Ankara with Eskisehir and Konya. An extension to the Eskisehir line to Istanbul is due to open next year and TCDD is keen to achieve a 3-hour journey time for the 533km trip.

By 2015, the first phase of the high-speed network will be complete with trains running to Bursa, Afyon and Usak en route to Izmir, and east from a new high-speed station in Ankara to Sivas and Erzincan.