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

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For diesel locomotives pollution is a definite result. But for electric locomotive, it is dependant on the contributions for various sources feeding into the grid. Out of various sources for electric power the only polluting sources are coal and diesel/ Gas. so if a country is getting say 80% of its power from polluting sources. even then there is a reduction of 20% in pollution levels.
Indian Railways has taken a recent decision to go in for 100% electrification. That means that it will be going to be to be slow in induction of new diesel locomotives. The main reason behind this decision is to help clean up the air. On power generation side there is a simultaneous push for non-polluting technologies. So I see my country going in the right direction.

How is it that tickets are immediately sold out as soon as they are released for sale? Do travel agencies buy all the places? What is TCDD doing to make it possible for ordinary passengers to reserve sleeping-car places?

Another good article. I agree with everything you’ve said. The route from West to East has been so fragmented for so long that it will take a lot of work to bring the numbers back up. I hope the investment isn’t wasted and is supported by positive marketing and increased information for all. As someone who’s twice travelled through Turkey by train I know it’s a great network – but it needs to be easier for passengers.