756 - Asya PortRail Freight

Who’ll do what in railways? – Ports

As expectations increase by liberalization of railway transport, ports are trying to keep pace with.

Railway connected ports are not few in Turkey. But the contribution of rail connection has not been much except Mersin and Alsancak ports. For some big ports, it’s almost impossible to get rail connected. Some others do not want to split their port area with rail lines.

But things are changing.

As bigger ports are replacing the smaller ones, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars connection will bring more rail loads and ports are trying to increase their coverage areas, rail connections become more and more important.

Liberalization may increase the volume and speed of current flow to ports by rail, especially from Kayseri, Denizli, Aydın, Konya and Gaziantep.

New private operators may increase the attractiveness of rail by their financial and organization power and value added services. Hence, the private inland container terminals have been increasing their market shares everyday.

There are 4 regions where competition is warming up and railway may make difference:

European side of Turkey

The only port with rail connection, Tekirdağ Port is now being privatized.

Recently opened Asya Port, which aims to be a hub port covering also the neighbourhood countries, has no direct rail connection, but is not far away from railway either.

East Marmara

Competition on container loads is hot especially among three ports. Fast growing DP World Yarımca has no direct rail connection.

Safi Port, which has the largest port area in the region, has very strong rail connections.

West Anatolia

There’s a hot competition on container loads here as well. Alsancak port, being operated by state railways (TCDD), has strong rail connection and is an important player in container traffic.

The Nemrut bay ports grew very fast in recent years. Bay has now better railway connections. A direct rail connection to Nemport is under construction.


Mersin Port has been using railway very effectively for a long time. It has been the strongest alternative for the container loads carried on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway to Mediterranean sea. But it’s not alone.

Cover Photo: Asya Port ©


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