Turkey breaks ground for new high-speed line
A groundbreaking ceremony was held over the weekend for a new high-speed line between the Turkish capital Ankara and Kayseri, an important industrial city further east. Once completed, travel time between the two Anatolian cities will be reduced to around 2 hours.
The ceremony was attended by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said it was time for the people of Kayseri “to experience the comfort of high-speed trains”. The new line will also call at the town of Yerköy, as it is essentially a branch off of the recently inaugurated Ankara-Yerköy-Sivas high-speed line. As such, the construction effort for the Ankara-Yerköy-kayseri line will ‘only’ entail 142 kilometres of new tracks.
Major expansion plans underway
The expansion of the Turkish high-speed railway network continues unabated. Earlier this month, Turkish Transport minister Adil Karaismailoğlu celebrated the completion of tunnelling activities for the new high-speed line to Bursa over the weekend. 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.
In April, the Turkish Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure unveiled its transport and logistics master plan, 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.