Railway Events

What will happen in 2021?


A hard year is now back, also for railways. 2021, on the other hand, may come with several good news.

Here are the developments expected in Turkish railways in 2021:

Golden Horn meets tram

2021 starts with a very good news. First phase of Eminonu-Alibeykoy tram, which runs along Golden Horn has started service today. Tram runs between Cibali and Alibeykoy for now. Engineering works for the last two stations, which will connect tram to Eminonu, will continue. Until completion of that part, there’s bus service between Cibali and Eminonu.

Photo: İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Metro to airport in April

First phase of Gayrettepe-Istanbul Airport, Istanbul’s longest and fastest constructed metro is very close for completion. Laying of rails started early this year and yet test runs continue. Kagithane-Airport section will be commissioned in April. The rest, Gayrettepe-Kagithane is planned to open by the end of 2021. It’ll be possible to travel from Gayrettepe to airport in 30 minutes by then.

HST to Sivas and Karaman

293 km of 405-km-long Ankara-Sivas HST line was completed, test runs continue. Construction works in Kayas-Yerkoy continue. Elmali-Kirikkale is the hardest part of it. A great portion of 2020 investment funds were allocated for Sivas HST line. The service will most probably start in Sivas HST line, at least with temporary solutions for unfinished sections, as in Istanbul-Ankara HST line.

323 - Yerköy Yozgat Sivas yüksek hızlı tren hattı - Cengiz İnşaat
Photo: Cengiz İnsaat

Electrification works completed in Konya-Karaman line, signalization contiunes. Target is to open line in May.

Istanbul-Ankara HSTs will speed up

There are three sections in Istanbul-Ankara HST line causing trains run with lower speed between Bozuyuk and Sapanca. First is Dogancay tunnel, which is about to be completed. Seond is T26 tunnel, which was collapsed during construction and is planned to open in late 2021. Third is the line after Dogancay tunnel till Sapanca which will be ready by 2022. Each of these three sections will save about 10-15 min. When all completed, travel time between Sogutlucesme and Ankara will go down to 4 hours.

New rail systems for Istanbul

There are a couple of rail projects which are planned to open in 2021. Hisarustu-Asiyan funnicular will open in summer. First phase of Atakoy-Ikitelli metro, Ikitelli-Bahariye section will open in 2021.

240 - Ümraniye Metrosu - IBB
Photo: İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality

Transport Ministry is constructing two metro lines in Istanbul which are expected to be commissioned in 2021. First is extension metro line to Sabiha Gokcen Airport, opening of which was postponed a couple of times. Second is Basaksehir-Kayasehir extension line which will connect metro line to city hospital.

Antalya tram will reach cliffs

Second phase of Antalya’s new tram line which reaches to city center connecting Medical University, City Hospital, Antalya Museum, Antalya main bus station and city court is about to be completed. Second phase covers section from main bus station to museum. Tram will start service until museum in 2021.

New rolling stock on rail

There’ll be new locos on rail in 2021. Deliveries of Stadler hybrid locos for Korfez Ulastirma will start this year. TCDD Tasimacilik’s new electric locos will most probably be on rail as well. Turasas’ new electric main line loco, E5000 may also be unveiled.

986 - Stadler Eurodual
Photo: Stadler

Batch production of new Turkish EMU will start in 2021. If passenger trains start, it will be possible to see first EMU in service. Prototype of Turasas’s suburban train set for Gaziray will be ready this year.

Passenger trains my restart

Most of the passenger trains are not running since March 2020 in Turkey, only limited number of HSTs are giving service. If Covid-19 is solved within this year, passenger trains may restart again. If started, Samsun trains will also start after 5 years of suspension due to renewal. Travel time between Samsun and Sivas will decrease down to 5 hours.

If passenger traffic started, tourism trains, which started with Touristic Dogu Express, may increase. First one to start will be Karaelmas Express, where a trial run was already done. Ephesus-Pamukkale, Diyarbakir-Mardin-Midyat, Nemrut-Van Lake are other possible routes.

Baku train is ready

International trains are also looked forward. Sofia and Transasia expresses were waiting for end of pandemic. The most expected one is most probably Baku-Ankara train. Preparations were almost completed in this route, thus service may start soon after pandemic issue is solved.

969 - Bakü treni
Foto: Rail Turkey

New metro lines on way

Tender process completed in Konya metro, construction works will start in 2021. Pre-qualification process completed in Mersin metro, tender process will most probably be completed in early 2021. Izmir Municipality will open tender for Buca metro in early 2021.

Istanbul Municipality’s fast metro project connecting Halkali in European side to Sabiha Gokcen in Asian side will be on the table in 2021. The project is worth $ 5 bn which is planned to be constructed with build-operate-transfer method. We’ll see if project is approved and any company will participate in such a tender.

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1 reply »

  1. I really look forward to passenger/tourists train in operation this year 2021. I hope my travel will be much easier if trains are in operation. Thank you and appreciate the updates received. Happy New Year!

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