Turkey aims for major increase of rail use with new investments
The Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure unveiled its transport and logistics master plan earlier this month, which calls for almost 200 billion dollars (183,7 billion euros) in investment over the coming two decades. Among other things, Turkey wants to vastly increase the number of railway passengers.
With its vision for 2053, the ministry aims to increase the share of the railways in passenger transport from 0,96 percent to 6,2 percent. This translates to an increase from 19,5 million passenger kilometres per year at present to 270 million per. Additionally, the ministry wants to move more than one fifth of of its total freight volume via rail in 2053. Currently, rail cargo has a share of 5,1 percent.
Those achieve its aims, the ministry projects investments of 197,9 billion dollars between now and 2053 in new rail and road projects, as well as maritime connections and air travel. Transport minister Adil Karaismailoğlu highlighted Turkey’s efforts in expanding its network of high-speed rail lines.
‘Turkey to double its network’
In comments on the plan on Tuesday, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the country’s railway network now spans across 13,022 kilometres. The aim is to more than double that to 28,590 kilometres by 2053.
“by expanding high-speed train lines until 2053, we will increase the number of provinces connected to each other with this system from 8 to 52.”
Earlier this year, Erdogan inaugurated a new 102-kilometre extension of the existing Ankara-Konya line, which now reaches the city of Karaman. The high-speed link between Ankara and the city of Sivas is expected to start operations later this year.
Among the lines under constructions are connections between Ankara and Izmir, as well as between the Istanbul suburb of Halakı and Kapıkule border gate between Turkey and Bulgaria. Turkey’s railway company TCDD also has the Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep project in the works.