High speed trains set to boost economy: Minister
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The four high-speed train lines that will connect four major cities will contribute more than $800 million a year to the economy, Minister Yıldırım says. AA photoTurkey’s high speed train lines, expected to constitute 10,000 of the country’s total 25,000 kilometers of railway by 2023, will make a significant contribution to economic, social and cultural development, according to Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım.
“The high speed train lines that will connect four major cities: Ankara-Istanbul, Ankara-İzmir and Ankara-Bursa, will carry more than 30 million passengers a year and their contribution to the economy will exceed $800 million annually,” Yıldırım said yesterday, adding that Turkey was the world’s eighth and Europe’s sixth country to take advantage of high speed train technology.
Yıldırım said work on the Ankara-Istanbul line, which is expected to carry 17 million passengers a year when finished, is nearing its end. “We will open this project, which will decrease the travel time between the two cities to three hours, simultaneously with Marmaray on Sept. 30, 2013,” the minister said.
Yıldırım said that the Ankara-İzmir and Ankara-Bursa routes were expected to carry 6 million passengers a year each, adding that the high speed network would also reach Kayseri, Sivas and Erzincan in the east and Antalya in the south.
Energy, cost efficiency
The transportation minster noted that the high speed trains had high energy efficiency and offers comfort to its passengers.
“According to estimations, 5.5 million people will travel by train instead of their private cars,” Yıldrım said. “One of our priorities is to reduce the country’s dependency on highways. The traffic will be better and when you consider the cars that will not be on roads and their costs, the country will save more than $160 million in total. With less usage of exported energy, the current account deficit will decrease by $185 million. Fewer cars on the roads will also mean fewer traffic accidents, which will save our country an additional $571 million. ”
FAST TRAIN NETWORK IN FAST GROWTH
ISTANBUL –Hürriyet Daily News
Among Turkey’s five high-speed train line projects, the “Ankara-Konya” line was the first one to be completed. The 212-kilometer line was put into service in August 2011. The capital city of Ankara is also set to be connected to Istanbul and other Anatolian cities İzmir, Bursa and Sivas with planned high-speed train lines.
The 533-kilometer Ankara-Istanbul line was planned to be completed in two phases. The first phase of this line, Ankara-Eskişehir, was completed in 2009. The line is also planned to connect to the ongoing Marmaray Metro Project, the underwater Bosphorus railway tunnel.
The first steps in the 405-kilometer Ankara-Sivas high speed train line were taken in 2008. The line will decrease the journey time between Ankara and Sivas from 12 hours to just 2 hours when completed.
The Ankara-Polatlı, which is the first phase of the Ankara-İzmir high speed train line is also currently under construction. The 663-kilometer line, which will go through Manisa, is planned to be completed in 2015. Meanwhile, another line planned in Bursa will connect the city to the high speed train network.