637 - TCDD passenger train - JeffPassenger

Last 20 months for TCDD passenger trains

The passenger trains of TCDD may be operated by private companies beginning with May 2018.

The legislation published today sets the rules of running passenger trains which are not commercially sustainable.

According to this new legislation, these lines will be run by TCDD and Transportation Ministry will pay the loss. By May 2018, the operator will either be selected by tender process, or can even be selected directly from the market.

TCDD’s expenses are far bigger than the income. In 2015, TCDD’s income from passenger trains was TL 226 mn (€ 70 mn) where expenses were more than TL 1.22 bn. Thus most of the main line and regional trains (except high speedt trains) of TCDD are going to be evaluated in this scope.

If a private company gives an offer less than TCDD, the change in passenger trains may even be faster than freight and we’ll see many private trains all over Turkey.

Legislation allows companies to make profit of 10% within this scope of public service.

Public service obligation in railway (in Turkish)

Cover Photo: Jeff Hawken ©

5 replies »

  1. The stated “cost” of running any given passenger service is very susceptible to political interference. That is a general comment, not one specifically aimed at Turkey. So if the aim is to make the infrastructure company “profitable”, then the track access charges will increase, causing fares increases, and making the train operations unprofitable. Conversely, if the imperative is to maintain the level of fares, then the infrastructure company will become unprofitable.

    The only thing I am certain about is that the existing bloated TCDD Tasimacilik train operation will need to shed vast numbers of its staff in order to become profitable, or to be able to compete with private operators. That could become very unpopular indeed.

  2. It seems the infrastructure fee will be kept low, to encourage new investments. Moreover, with the exception of some specific staff for infrastructure and train operator, all other staff are free to choose the new company to work, which ends up with sticking to their current company, namely TCDD, the infrastructure operator. So, I guess, TCDD Tasimacilik will not have that many staff.

  3. In any case, the splitting of TCDD as infrastructure and train operator and also sharing of locos between freight and passenger sections will provide finer calculation of loss, I guess. So next year will be a good chance to see the exact loss.

  4. So if the track access costs are low, it would be relatively attractive for a well-organized open-access operator to compete with TCDD Tasimacilik for the most profitable traffic flows – and improve the services to some locations. A simple 3-car diesel or electric unit with one driver, one guard / ticket examiner, and one buffet steward / assistant ticket examiner would be a lot cheaper to run than the current operation. An open access operator could also do without the huge overheads of employing lots of staff at stations. So the fares could be cheaper, which should result in full trains. I wonder who will be the first to try it?

    • Exactly.. And for the public supported lines (probably all of them at te beginning), the company will not have any “risk” of lack of passengers. I’m sure there’ll be more than one candidates by May 2018 with these terms.


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