International freight by rail in Turkey continued to decrease in 2015.
Imports, exports and transit transport by rail had decreased by 10% in 2015 when examined in unit of net ton-km.
The main reason is the decrease in freight to Iran, where a considerable distance is covered within Turkey.
When international transport is examined in unit of net ton, there is an increase by 15%. International freight increased from 1.68 mn ton in 2014 to 1.96 mn ton in 2015.
There’s an important increase in European traffic. The 25% increase is resulted by new container trains to Europe and new trains on the reopened Derince-Bilecik railway.
As Halkali opened by 2016, the westward traffic is expected to increase in 2016, both in unit of ton and ton km.
On the other hand, there’s a decline in Eastward transports which includes transports to/from Iran and Central Asia. Decline is slight when measured by ton, but important when measured by ton-km. The rail freight to Iran was stopped due to security reasons in 2015. Moreover, the problems in Van Lake pass was resulted with many departures starting from Van instead of western regions.
The new Van Lake ferry has not started yet, thus “low” volume will continue in 2016 too.
Although transit freight is negligible for a long time, there was an increase during last two years. However, in 2015, the transit volume dropped sharply, ended up with an amount even less than 2011.
As rail connection to Syria and Iraq is still closed and new rail connection to Georgia and Azerbaijan has not opened yet, the transit traffic is only between Europe and Iran. Not much change is expected in 2016.
Cover Photo: Jeff Hawken ©