Today, TCDD announced two arrangements everybody focused on. Regulations after closure of Halkali Terminal, and rail ferry service to Asian side.
Halkali Terminal will be closed to railway traffic by 17th of June, and will be kept closed till 3rd of September for the renewal of rail lines. During this time, trains coming from Europe can only reach until Cerkezkoy in European side.
However, there’s another restriction about Cerkezkoy. Cerkezkoy Terminal can only be used by full trains. Single wagon traffic will not be allowed to Cerkezkoy. In other words, single wagons can only come until Corlu Terminal, 25 km away from Cerkezkoy.
By this restriction, all conventional wagon traffic to Halkali will be forced to be handled in Corlu, since TCDD is transporting all of them with the status of “single wagon”. That will surely decrease the possible problems of congestion in Cerkezkoy, which has 2.5 lines for unloading.
On the other hand, customers of conventional wagons get worried with that news. Corlu has a lot of disadvantages compared with Cerkezkoy. A terminal far away from customs office, with low security, almost no facilities for workers, no shunting machine and much cost for trucking. Door to İstanbul from European side seems almost closed for most of customers.
However, another news again announced officially today by TCDD is the openning of another door to Istanbul, this time from Asian side. Long-time awaiting Tekirdag Derince Train Ferry is announced to start the service on 5th of June. Trains coming from Europe will follow the route Kapikule, Muratli, Tekirdag and ferry will take the trains to Derince Port.
Derince, being closer to Gebze and having faster trucking without road restrictions will provide an alternative route to Istanbul as well as the other industrial regions of Turkey like Izmit, Bursa and Eskisehir.
The new era, with the absence of Halkali, presence of ferry service between Tekirdag and Derince is about to begin. All existing traffic to Halkali will now be shared by three main terminals: Cerkezkoy, Corlu and Derince. The performance of terminals, TCDD, ferry, forwarders, trucking companies and operators may change the current picture permanently, or everything will be restored in status quo ante after Halkali opens.