New timetables for high speed trains as of 5th of April.

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Contributions & Comments

In my experience, people will use trains if there is a reliable, user-friendly service with easy to access information (timetables for instance), fare choices, maps of the system (as on the London Underground, most stations in Britain and websites/apps like National Rail Enquiries). Otherwise they will find some other means of transport. I would love to travel by train from Istanbul to Ankara, but not unless I can leave from Haydarpasa, All too problematic and difficult for the tourist!

Also, I honestly think that a comfortable long distance train İstanbul – Budapest (or even Vienna) would attract a decent number of passengers. Now, the connection at Sofia is a disaster and Serbian tracks and trains are, unfortunately, in extremely bad condition. Romanian cars are not that much better and the connection in Bucureşti Nord (or Videle) is just as bad as in Sofia. The horrible connections and cars even put me off, and I’m a very stubborn train traveller. This summer again, I missed my connection at Sofia forcing me to spend a day there.

I would actually argue that even in electric cars, some of the responsibility for energy use lies with the car manufacturer and user. For example, the British government likes to say that it’s reducing carbon emissions, but sometimes the reason is because production has moved to China! In this case, clearly the emissions are still happening and the British government is still partly responsible, but in its reporting it’s able to make itself look more green. Some of TCDD’s energy impact MAY (I say may because I don’t know for certain!) be like this.
I think your report is largely very fair, I just wanted to suggest caution in interpreting the data. For example, because of the possible problems I listed in my last post, I don’t know if we can say for certain that TCDD’s electrification is worth a forest. In the short-term, all their hard work to prepare the railway may have cost a forest. I would also argue that we can’t say the decrease in fuel consumption means 80 million kg of CO2 have been prevented – some, most or all of this CO2 will still have been released, but just not from diesel.
However, I accept that in the long-term this is definitely a good news story that Turkey should be proud of and very important to share so thank you for reporting it.