636 - Uzunköprü İstasyonu- OnurRail Freight

Electrification revolution in railways

A silent transpormation is taking effect in Turkish State Railways (TCDD) where currently expenses are far more than income.

TCDD has an ambitious program for electrification where whole network is going to be electrified by 2023. TCDD has already managed to increase the share of electric locos in freight by 4 times in last 4 years. In 2100, 5% of freight was carried by electric locos, where in 2015 it reached to 21%.

In passenger side, the losses of 2012 has not been compensated yet. That year, Istanbul rail connections were closed due to engineering works, all passenger and suburban trains suspended and there was a sharp drop in electric share. Despite the regular increase in suburban trains (Marmaray, Izban) and high speed trains, the share of electric in public transport remained as 42%. It was 52% in 2011.

This change ended up with an increase in share of electric in total energy costs. In 2011, 13% of energy costs was electric where in 2015 it was 19%.

This transformation means a drop in energy costs of TCDD. Energy costs were 66% of TCDD’s income in 2011. This dropped to 58% in 2015.

In addition to Cerkezkoy-Halkali section electrified this year, the completion of electrification works on Bandirma-Izmir, Balikesir-Kutahya, Mersin-Adana-Toprakkale sections and Ankara-Sivas, Konya-Karaman high speed lines and Ankara (Baskentray), Istanbul (Marmaray) suburban lines will increase the share of electric within a few years.

Cover Photo: Jeff Hawken ©

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