New high-speed train project to connect Eskişehir with Antalya: Minister
ESKİŞEHİRA new high-speed train project connecting Eskişehir to Antalya will be realized, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan announced on Feb.19, Doğan News Agency has reported.
Arslan said the line between the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir and the Mediterranean province of Antalya would pass through the Aegean province of Afyonkarahisar.
Speaking after the visit of Eskişehir Governor Azmi Çelik, Arslan stressed that Eskişehir was a significant junction point for transportation and praised various train, highway and aviation projects carried out under 14 years of Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule.
“We see that millions of people are taking journeys by high-speed trains nowadays. We have linked Eskişehir, Bilecik, Kocaeli and Istanbul with each other,” he added.
Turkey’s long-awaited high-speed railway line between the capital Ankara and the financial capital Istanbul was inaugurated on July 25, 2016.
The train is capable of reaching speed of up to 250 kilometers an hour. The train stops in Ankara, Polatlı, Eskişehir, Bozüyük, Bilecik, Pamukova, Sapanca, İzmit, Gebze and Pendik.
The project, which is worth $4 billion, was completed in phases. The Ankara-Polatlı-Eskişehir section opened in March 2009, followed by Polatlı-Konya in August 2011. A through service from Konya to Eskişehir was introduced in 2013.
Arslan also stated that the Eskişehir and Bolu high-speed train lines would be connected to each other in due course.
“[Bolu] is known for its thermal tourism. We have issued a tender for that part of the line, approximately 25,000 kilometers of which will be a dual carriageway. We will connect to Bolu through Göynük, which is known as an important touristic center,” he added.
Arslan said Turkey became sixth in Europe and eighth in usage and production of speed-trains, remarking that the first Turkish automobile was produced in Eskişehir during his visit to the factory of TÜLOMSAŞ, a leading local locomotive maker.
“TÜLOMSAŞ became a locomotive motor producer for the railway sector today. They say today ‘we will produce the first Turkish high-speed train.’ If workers believe that, supporting them is our duty,” he said.
Istanbul-Sofia express starts journeys
Arslan has announced that a new train line between Istanbul and Bulgaria’s capital Sofia will start its journeys on Feb. 20, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
Arslan said the construction works of the railway, which stands on 292 kilometers between Kapıkule and Istanbul, has been completed, adding that there was no need to extend the railway beyond these points.
“The decision to establish a new railway line was made with an agreement between Bulgarian railways and Turkey’s State Railways [TCDD]. The express will make journeys between Sofia and Istanbul every day. TCDD’s rolling stock will include two wagons, two wagon-lits and a couchette car,” he said.
Arslan stated that new lines connecting to Bucharest and Belgrade will be added in the summer.
“The train will start from the Halkalı district of Istanbul at 10:40 p.m. Another train will run its journey from Sofia at 9:00 p.m. The travel time will be approximately nine hours and 50 minutes,” he added.
Arslan said train services to and from Sofia and Istanbul will be in both directions.