Turkish Ministry of Transportation announced the 2023 target of constructing 4000 km new conventional rail lines in 2011.
Conventional lines will be used mainly for freight logistics. Therefore it is esential for industry and followed closely by railway professionals although overshadowed by high speed trains. Here’s the report of conventional targets at the end of 1.5 year:
No new conventional line had opened till July 2013. Total length is still 8770 km. Target is to reach to 8961 km at the end of this year. Based on 10. Development Program, it’ll reach to 10556 km at the end of 2018. And finally, if targets realized, total length of railways in Turkey will reach to 12770 by 2023.
The new railway routes mainly for freight transportation in 2023 targets are as follows:
Adapazari-Karasu-Eregli-Bartin : The construction in first phase, Adapazari-Karasu had already started, but ended because of increase in costs due to geologic problems faced. This part planned to be finisihed till the end of 2018. By that, Istanbul will be able to reach to Black Sea via Karasu Port. In following phases, Eregli Demir Celik with a huge potential of steel loads for railway will be connected to Turkish railway system.
Aliaga-Candarli : Project is ready, under evaluation. Main target is to connect Turkey’s –so planned- biggest container port by rail. This line is also a part of extending Ege Ray to Bergama and extending high speed line from Bursa to Izmir.
Kars-Tiflis-Bakü : Rail lines have just started to be laid down. The biggest improvement among all. Will connect Turkey to other side of Caspian Sea via Azerbaijan. Construction had faced with problems in Azerbaijan, but last month leaders of three contries had declared that the project will open within 2013.
Kars-Nahcivan (Iran) : Still on project phase. Declared in 2012, and added to 2023 targets. Yet the only way to Iran is via Van Lake. This will be an alternative, “complete on land” solution with a new constructed 335 km and a budget of 1.5 billion dollars.
Nusaybin-Silopi-Habur : Yet the only railway connection to Iraq is via Syria, and closed for more than a year. Therefore an alternative connection to Iraq via Habur is planned. Has top priority. 268 km. A tender was organized for project and engineering in 2013. Planned to organize the tender for construction in 2014.
Mursitpinar-Sanliurfa : Being studied. Will be announced in 2014. 154 km. Is planned to be extent to Diyarbakir till 2023.
Gemlik-Bursa : Added to 2023 targets with high pressure of manufacturers of Bursa. Nothing started yet.
Palu-Genc-Mus : Construction has been started. Because of the problems in tender process, some delays are expected. Since the current line is passing through the reservoir of dam in construction, line has to be shifted. Planned to be completed within 5 years period of 10th Development Program.
There are some other planned new lines as Mardin-Diyarbakır, Kurtalan-Cizre and Gaziantep-Nurdag.
Furthermore, second lanes are planned to be constructed for the lines with heavy traffic. Konya-Adana, Sivas-Kayseri-Adana and Malatya-Adana lines are planned to be two lanes by 2023.