The TCDD purchased its first high-speed train sets, with a maximum speed of 250 kilometres per hour, from Spain’s CAF. Photo Railway Gazette
Passenger services begin today on Turkey’s first section of high speed railway between Eskisehir and Ankara. Four daily return trains will operate and promotional fares will be available until April 2. The high-speed train will reduce current the travel time of 180-minutes from Ankara to Eskisehir to 80 minutes.
Under construction since 2003, the section of line forms the first phase of the high speed network being developed under a national programme to improve the competitiveness of the rail network. “We have to build a high-speed rail network across the country in ten years and we will do it,” said Erol Inan, Deputy Director-General of Turkish State Railways (TCDD).
TCDD is also working to complete the line from Eskisehir to Istanbul, said Inan. “When the line between Eskisehir and Istanbul is completed, Turkey will have a high-speed train service from Sivas to Istanbul. Another ongoing project is the line between Ankara and the central province of Konya. We will launch that line next year. All these projects will be finished in three years,” Inan said.
When the High Speed Train Project is fully completed, travel time will be 3 hours between Ankara and Istanbul, which is currently 6 hours and 30 minutes. TCDD hopes this will increase rail’s market share to 78% from its current figure of 10%.