High-speed rail in Turkey: Wikis


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Turkish State Railways network: High-speed rail tracks in service, under construction and in plan.

The Turkish State Railways started building high-speed rail lines in 2003. The first section of the line, between Ankara and Eskişehir, was inaugurated on March 13, 2009. It is a part of the 533 km Istanbul to Ankara high-speed rail line.

The construction of three separate high-speed lines from Ankara to Istanbul, Konya and Sivas, as well as taking an Istanbul–Izmir line to the launch stage, form part of the Turkish Ministry of Transport's strategic aims and targets.[1] Turkey plans to construct a network of high-speed lines in the early part of the 21st century, targeting a 1500 km network of high-speed lines by 2013 and a 4000 km network by the year 2023.[2]

The Marmaray project, which consists of a rail transport network around Istanbul and the world's deepest immersed-tube railway tunnel under the Bosphorus strait, is also under construction. The Marmaray tunnel will connect the subway and railway lines on the European and Asian parts of Istanbul and Turkey, respectively.


Ankara – Istanbul high-speed line

Prior to the introduction of the high-speed line, the population centres of Istanbul (12 million) and Ankara (5 million) were connected by a 576 km long railway line, of which only 110 km was double tracked.[3] The whole line was electrified, but low radius turns and poor track quality made high-speed rail transport impossible. Prior to the upgrading of this line in 2006, the railway's market share of Istanbul to Ankara passenger transit was 10%, with a travel time of ~6.5 hours.[3]

In 1994, an initial plan to upgrade the existing line was launched, named the "Ankara–Istanbul Railway Line Rehabilitation Project." Smoothing of curves to allow running at around 100 km/h, and some track doubling were planned.[4] The design specifications were not expected to meet future needs and no progress was made until 1999, when funding was obtained for a line between Esenkent and Eskişehir, to be operated at 200 km/h. Subsequently, this developed into the high speed line project with the expected line speed raised to 250 km/h. Contracts for this line were signed in 2000.[4]

The developement of the 1994 "railway rehabilitation project" forms the first section of the Ankara–Istanbul high-speed line, and is expected to reduce in half the travelling time between the two cities, with hopes to capture a far greater share (78%) of the passenger transportation market between the two cities.[5]

Design and construction

The first high-speed railroad to be built in Turkey will connect the county's largest conurbations of Ankara and Istanbul via Eskişehir, with a junction at Polatlı to the Ankara-Konya high-speed line.[6]

The line is 533 km long, double tracked, electrified, and signalled,[6] to ETCS level 1 standard[5][7] and is independent of the original Ankara to Istanbul line. The design speed is 250 km/h.[6]

The first part of the line to be constructed (Phase 1) was the Ankara to Eskişehir section, specifically between Sincan and İnönü, scheduled to open in 2006. The second phase was scheduled to open in 2008 and included more difficult terrain which covers the path between İnönü and Köseköy, extending to Gebze close to Istanbul.[5]

Ankara – Istanbul high-speed line construction
Line section Length (km) Start / opening date[note 1] Notes
Ankara – Sincan 24 As of 2009, the existing track between Ankara and Esenkent is used until the completion of a dedicated high-speed line[8]
Sincan – Esenkent 15 2008-2010[6]
Esenkent – Eskişehir 206 2004-2009[8] Infrastructure includes: 2 road bridges and 30 road underpasses, 7 railway bridges, and 13 river crossings. 4 viaducts (total length over 4 km), and 1 tunnel (471 m).
First test runs in April 2007.[6]
Eskişehir station 3.4 km 2008-[6] To avoid congestion problems in the city of Eskişehir, a tunnel and cutting project is being undertaken. 2240 m of covered tunnel consisting of 2 high-speed lines, 2 conventional lines, and 1 freight line, plus 1151 m of excavated track (U shape) with 2 high-speed tracks and 1 freight track.[6]
Eskişehir – Inönü 30 2008-2010[6]
Inönü – Vezirhan 54 2008-2010 (estimated)[6]
Vezirhan – Köseköy 104 2008-2010 (estimated)[6]
Köseköy – Gebze 56 To be completed as part of phase 2 of the line[6]
Gebze – Haydarpaşa (Istanbul) 44 The final section of the track from Gebze to Istanbul falls within the scope of the Marmaray project.[9]

Operation and rolling stock

The Ankara to Eskişehir section officially opened on March 13, 2009.[8]

The line is operated by the Turkish State Railways, using the TCDD HT65000 6-car train sets constructed by the Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) of Spain.

On November 13, 2009, a high-speed train derailed near Eskişehir.[10]

Ankara – Konya high-speed line

The second high-speed line construction project in Turkey was a line from Polatlı on the Ankara to Istanbul line to Konya.[11]

Prior to the construction of the line, journeys between Ankara and Konya took over 10 hours, travelling from Ankara via Eskişehir and Afyon, with a total length of nearly 1000 km.[4][note 2] The new high-speed line is 320 km in length, with a journey time of 1 hour and 15 minutes.[4] 212 km of new track is to be constructed via Polatlı and Konya, with a design permitting up to 250 km/h of high-speed rail transport.[11]

Construction is split into two phases: Phase 1 is the 100 km section between Ankara and Polatlı, while Phase 2 is the 112 km section between Polatlı and Konya.

Ankara – Konya high-speed line construction
Line section Length (km) Start / opening date[note 1] Notes
Ankara – Polatlı 93 km 2004-2009 Constructed as part of the Ankara to Istanbul high-speed line, on the Esenkent – Eskişehir section
Phase 1
Polatlı via Kocahacılı to the 100 km mark
100 km 2007- An estimated cost increase of 20% due to weak ground[11]
Phase 2
100 km (from Polatlı to Konya)
112 km 2006-

The line, which includes a tunnel of 2030 m,[11] is scheduled to be completed by 2010.[12]

Ankara – Sivas – Kars high-speed lines

Ankara – Sivas line

Prior to the construction of the high-speed line, the railway line length between Ankara and Sivas was 602 km, primarily single-tracked, with a travel time of 12 hours.[11] The new high-speed line will be double-tracked and have a length of 466 km eastwards from Ankara to Sivas[11] via Kırıkkale, Yerköy and Yozgat[13] and constructed for the most part to the same 250 km/h operational design as the previous lines. The infrastructure includes 6 viaducts (with a total length over 3 km), 11 tunnels (including one of ~3 km in length), and 67 bridges.[14]

The route study was completed by the end of 2006, and put up for tender in two parts; separated at the 174 km mark from Ankara at Yerköy.[14]

Ankara – Sivas high-speed line construction
Line section Length (km) Start / opening date[note 1] Notes
Ankara – Yerköy 174 Includes short sections of less than high-speed running due to small radius curve sections of track in the Ankara to Kırıkkkale section.[14]
Yerköy – Sivas 291 2009[15]- 7 tunnels over 10 km in total length and 4 viaducts over 2.7 km in total length.
Tender for construction of groundwork awarded in 2008. 7 stations to be built: 3 between Yerköy and Doğakent, and 4 between Doğakent and Sivas, to be separately tendered.[14]

Sivas – Kars line

An extension eastwards to Kars from the Ankara – Sivas line is planned (a feasibility study having been started in 2006[16]), passing through Erzincan and Erzurum.[13] The line is expected to be built in three phases. It will be electrified and double-tracked based on the 250 km/h standard.[9]

Ankara – Izmir line

Plans for a high-speed line from İzmir to Ankara have been approved. The line will pass though Afyon to meet the high-speed line from Ankara to Istanbul near Polatlı. It will have a length of 606 km, with a projected running speed of 250 km/h, and is scheduled to be complete by 2011.[9]

Bursa – Osmaneli line

A 105.5 km line between Bursa and Osmaneli via Ayazma will connect with the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed line at Osmaneli.[9]

Istanbul – Edirne line

The Ankara to Istanbul high-speed line is to be extended 230 km from Halkalı (a western suburb of Istanbul) all the way to Turkey's borders with Bulgaria and Greece at the vicinity of Kapıkule in the Edirne Province.[9]

Related infrastructure projects

The Marmaray project, which will connect the European and Asian lines of the Istanbul Metro, will also connect the Thracian and Anatolian railway lines in Turkey via the world's deepest immersed-tube railway tunnel across the Bosphorus strait.[17]

A new high-speed rail terminus station is to be built in Ankara (2009-2010), which is to be funded as a public private partnership, using the Build-Operate-Transfer model. Additionally, new stations are to be constructed in Istanbul, Izmir, Edirne, Trabzon, Erzurum, Erzincan, Sivas, Kayseri, Antalya, Afyon and Polatlı.[18]

Lines in the planning phase

  • Eskişehir to Antalya line via Afyon.[20]

Future extension plans

Other projected high-speed rail lines include:

High-speed train sets and production facilities

TREVI ETR 500 test trains

ETR 500 train set used for testing the completed high speed rail lines.

The first high-speed trains to run on Turkish rails were two ETR 500 train sets rented from Italy and were used for testing the completed part of the high-speed railway network, between Eskişehir and Ankara, on April 23, 2007.[21] During the tests, ETR 500 Y2 achieved the current rail speed record in Turkey, reaching 303 km/h.[22]


A TCDD HT65000 train set, purchased from CAF of Spain.

The first ten TCDD HT65000 high-speed train sets were purchased from CAF of Spain, and can reach a maximum speed of 260 km/h.


Inauguration ceremony of the EUROTEM factory in Adapazarı.

EUROTEM, alternatively Hyundai EURotem, is a joint enterprise between Hyundai Rotem of South Korea and TÜVASAŞ of Turkey which was established in 2006[23] and started production in December 2007.[23] The Hyundai EURotem factory in Adapazarı, Turkey, was built as the Hızlı Tren Fabrikası (High-Speed Train Factory) with the purpose of manufacturing the next generation of Turkey's high-speed train sets.[24]

See also

References and notes


  1. ^ a b c Start of construction / Official opening
  2. ^ There was no direct connection between Ankara and Konya by rail


  1. ^ STRATEGIC AIMS AND TARGETS www.mt.gov.tr
  2. ^ TCDD annual report 2008 www.tcdd.gov.tr
  3. ^ a b Evaluation of Ankara - Istanbul high speed train project Authors: Ali Payidar Akgungor, Abdulmuttalip Demirel, 2006, ISSN 1648-4142 print / ISSN 1648-3480 online, periodical: "TRANSPORT" 2007, Vol XXII, No 1, www.transport.vgtu.lt
  4. ^ a b c d Railway projects in Turkey Author: Mustafa Karasahin, Publication: "Mechanics Transport Communications", ISSN 1312-3823, issue 3, 2007 ww.mtc-aj.com
  5. ^ a b c Ankara-Istanbul High-Speed Train Project, Turkey railway-technology.com
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k The current situation in the Ankara-Istanbul high speed line project www.tcdd.gov.tr
  7. ^ Alcatel-Lucent partners with Thales to expand Turkish Railways’ high-speed signalling network 16/3/2009 www.alcatel-lucent.com
  8. ^ a b c UIC celebrates the introduction of high speed in Turkey 19/3/2009 uic.asso.fr
  9. ^ a b c d e Development of Euro-Asian transport links Author: Selim Bolat, Research, Planning & Coordination Department, Turkish State Railways –TCDD, September 2007, Page 4, via www.unece.org
  10. ^ Turkey high-speed train derails 13/11/2009 news.bbc.co.uk
  11. ^ a b c d e f The current situation on the Ankara - Konya high speed line www.tcdd.gov.tr
  12. ^ Turkey’s first high-speed train line begins operation 14/3/2009 www.turkeyfinancial.com
  13. ^ a b Turkey’s Railway Stations: A railway station that connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean: Sivas Railway Station www.arkas.com.tr
  14. ^ a b c d ANKARA-SİVAS HIZLI TREN PROJESİ YERKÖY-YOZGAT-SİVAS KESİMİ Ankara - Sivas railway project www.tcdd.gov.tr
  15. ^ SİVAS ANKARA ARASI 2 SAAT 50 DAKİKAYA İNECEK "2hr 50mins between Ankara and Sivas" 16/3/2009 sipastv.com
  17. ^ Project of the Century: Marmaray www.tcdd.gov.tr
  18. ^ Privatizations & Upcoming PPP-Projects in Turkey Page 28 www.joi.or.jp
  19. ^ a b Privatizations & Upcoming PPP-Projects in Turkey Page 30 www.joi.or.jp
  20. ^ a b Turkey speeds into the future Author:David Briginshaw, Internation railway journal (IRJ), Jan 2009, via www.caf.net
  21. ^ Hürriyet: Hızlı tren artık raylarda
  22. ^ "Record: l'ETR 500 Y2 raggiunge i 303 km/h sull'AV turca" (in Italian). TransportiTT. 2007-09-14. http://www.duegieditrice.it/tt-trasporti/notizie/archivi.asp?codice=2377. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  23. ^ a b Presentation of the Rail Transport - Turkey Tevfik Muhammed YEŞİLÇAM (TCDD) 21/11/2008 Page 29, www.euromedtransport.org
  24. ^ TCDD: Hızlı Tren Fabrikası (High-Speed Train Factory)

External links

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