THE FIRST HIGH SPEED LINE OPENED IN 2009. FOR THE COMING YEARS, THREE ADDITIONAL PROJECTS ARE PLANNED IN ORDER TO BUILD A NETWORK OF 10,000 KM.
The plans for Turkey to count with an high-speed line between Ankara and Istanbul existed for decades, but it was not until 2003 when Turkey began building its high-speed network that went from 4,000 to 10,000 kilometres, with the first phase connection of 533 kilometres between the two cities.
The network is being built with standard gauge on concrete sleepers and ballast, 25 kV 50 Hz electrification and mixture of ETCS level 1 and 2 signaling.
The first section of 252 km of the Ankara-Istanbul line between Ankara and Eskisehir was opened in 2009, and a section of 212 kilometres were included to Konya in 2010 The first has experienced an increase of 8% to 70%, while the second has gone from zero to 54%.
The high speed train between Ankara and Istanbul and the 405 km line between Ankara and Sivas, are expected to be completed during this year. This will reduce the travel time between Ankara and Istanbul to about 3 hours, between Ankara and Sivas to 2 hours and between Istanbul and Sivas from 21 hours to 5 hours.
The high-speed line with 75 kilometres of mixed traffic from Bursa to Bilecik in the Ankara-Istanbul line should be operational in 2015.
A ¡contract for the construction of an extension of 167 kilometres in the line Ankara-Konya to Afyonkarahisa, granted in 2012, marks the beginning of the Ankara-Izmir line. Also, extensions are planned to Antalya, Kayseri, Erzincan and the Bulgarian border in Edirne before 2023.
Evolution of the lines
In 2012, around 2,600 km of the planned network was fully funded. The Turkish Railways TCDD had 10 high-speed trains (250 km/h) 6-car EMU’s built by CAF in 2007 to operate on the route Ankara-Eskisehir, and the acquisition of other 48 EMU’s is in mind. In addition, Siemens will deliver seven Velaro high-speed EMU trains and will be in charge of their maintenance for seven years.
The Ankara-Istanbul and Istanbul-Edirne lines will use Marmaray rails between Gebze and Halkali, which will connect the European and Asian rail networks in Turkey for the first time in a tunnel under the Bosphorus.
On both sides there will be three routes, two of which will be used for suburban services and the third for long-distance passenger and freight services.
However, the tunnel is built only with two rails, which will reduce long distance services at peak times due to the high frequency of planned suburban services.
The construction of three independent high-speed lines from Ankara to Istanbul, Konya and Sivas, as well as the Ankara-Izmir line, form part of the strategy of the Turkish Ministry of Transport, which aims to build a network of high speed of 10,000 kilometres in 2023.
Spanish potencial in the area
“The development of High Speed has been developed by Spanish companies from the line Ankara Eskisehir, whose construction wa undertaken by OHL, the trains were supplied by CAF, the lane by ArcerorMittal and the track components by Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos – according to Victor Audera-. Spain has been present in Turkey, thanks to the experience they have, and being our companies, also, highly valued”.
ADIF is actively involved in railway development in Turkey, providing expertise in the management and development of the Spanish railway network. ADIF Specialists provide their knowledge in technical areas ranging from construction, maintenance and repair of high speed track to management, planning and regulation of rail traffic rules with technologies like ERTMS, ATP and the traffic management system called DaVinci developed by Indra with intellectual property of ADIF.
“Turkey is a market that has very good perception of the Spanish industry, which has many cultural similarities –continues Victor Audera-. From the Commercial Office we are very pleased with the important work done by Mafex, the Spanish Railway Association, since it is an association that helps a lot the Spanish companies to develop their business in Turkey. Moreover, the Trade Office in Ankara is in disposition for the companies for whatever they need. From here we take care of other emerging markets such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, which have a very important and ambitious railway and subway structure, for which the Spanish industry should not lose sight of these countries”.