771 - TCDD container wagons - Turkrail

900 km/day: Who says trains are slow?


Baku train reached from Kars to Mersin in record time: 1.5 days.

The container train departed from Kazakhstan arrived Kars following recently opened Baku-Tblisi-Kars railway. The train then completed the 1300-km-long route from Kars to Mersin in 1.5 days. The train departed from Kars early Friday morning and arrived Mersin Saturday afternoon. Baku train moved with a speed of 900 km/day, faster than any truck.

How could train move such fast?

As a beginning, we should tell that 900 km/day is a successful, but not an extra-ordinary speed.

China-Europe trains, completing the route in 15 days, move with a speed of 1000 km/day in Russia.

The train departing from Trieste, where trailers and containers sent from Turkey are using densely, completes the 1000-km-long distances to Europe in 24 hours. Freight trains move with a speed of 120 km/h in many sections safely.

Even in countries like Turkey, though trains move with lower speeds, since trains can move 24 hours/day with changing loco drivers on way, can complete longer distances compared with trucks.

Thus, trains are prefered also because they are faster in Europe, Russia and China.

Well, are trains also fast in Turkey, but there’s a wrong perception? Wish that were true. Unfortunately, speed was not the first priority for TCDD until now, and clients which need speed did not prefer trains. In fact, higher speeds are not only a benefit for clients, but surely a big benefit for train operators which want to carry more with less equipment.

TCDD Taşımacılık is not under pressure of making profit, similar to private operators. Thus both of them are now trying to find ways of moving trains without any stop or delay. No doubt, Baku train with a speed of 900 km/day will inspire all players in the rail transport market.

Cover Photo: Turkrail ©

Written by Onur Uysal

Railway consultant. Owner of RT Media & Consultancy. Founder and editor of Rail Turkey.

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