Turkey marks completion of tunnelling for new high-speed line
Turkish Transport minister Adil Karaismailoğlu celebrated the completion of tunnelling activities for the new high-speed line to Bursa over the weekend. It connects the important centre of commerce and industry in the Marmara region to high-speed rail.
The new line will effectively link Bursa to both Istanbul and the Turkish capitol, Ankara. It will branch off from the existing Istanbul-Ankara high-speed line at Osmaneli and continue all the way to Bandırma. Another branch will head south, towards Balıkesir. According to Karaismailoğlu, travel time between Bursa and Istanbul and between Bursa and Ankara will be reduced to 2 hours and 15 minutes.
The Osmaneli-Bursa-Bandırma-Balıkesir line is 201 kilometres long and trains will call at 7 stations. There are 29 tunnels, 28 railway bridges and 4 viaducts along the route. The work comes at an estimated price tag of some 1,35 billion euros.
According to information from the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, around 30 million people per year are expected to use the new 200-kilometres-per-hour railway services. The line will also move 59 million tonnes of freight on an annual basis.
Karaismailoğlu said that with the addition of the Osmaneli-Bursa-Bandırma-Balıkesir line, the total lenght of high-speed lines in Turkey will come out at 1,764 kilometres.
The connection to Istanbul is not without its criticism, as the promised travel time puts the train at a disadvantage to cars. Following the opening in 2016 of the Osman Gazi Bridge spanning the Gulf of Izmit, the drive to from Istanbul to Bursa was significantly reduced. The bridge caters to motor vehicles only.
Bursa Hızlı Tren Hattı'nın T04 Tüneli ışığa kavuştu!
Hattımız ile yılda;
📌30 Milyon Yolcu
📌59 Milyon Ton Yük
taşıyarak Marmara’nın güneyindeki ulaşım ve lojistiği güçlendireceğiz. pic.twitter.com/C2P0YDaSQe
— Adil Karaismailoğlu (@akaraismailoglu) July 17, 2022