‘Signaling not complete but no risks’ in Turkey’s high-speed train

‘Signaling not complete but no risks’ in Turkey’s high-speed train

‘Signaling not complete but no risks’ in Turkey’s high-speed train

The first Turkish high-speed train arrives at Pendik railway station, in Istanbul, during the high-speed train opening cerenomy on July 25. AFP Photo / Ozan Köse

The signaling system of Turkey’s high-speed train, which links the country’s largest two cities, is not complete, but the train is still safe, Transportation Minister Lütfi Elvan has told Hürriyet. 

“There are no security problems,” he said Aug. 4 during an interview. "Because the parts that are not complete are the conventional rails, not the high-speed ones,” he said. Turkey’s long-awaited high-speed railway line between the capital, Ankara, and the financial capital of Istanbul was inaugurated at a large ceremony on July 25, only to break down several hours later. The train stopped while Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Elvan were on board. Technical teams fixed the problem in 30 minutes.

On Aug. 2, the train stopped for a second time for several hours due to a power cut.

Meanwhile, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told journalists yesterday he would not feel safe riding on the train.

“Mechanics have a call on the issue. The signaling system is not complete. This is very risky,” he said. Erdoğan used the project as a part of his presidential election campaign, Kılıçdaroğlu said, adding he would begin using it once the signaling was completed.