The plans for Ankara-Izmir HST project is changed with 2021 investment program.
Yenice-Izmir will now be constructed as “high standard railway”, not as “very high speed rail”.
Construction of Ankara Izmir high speed line, connecting Turkish capital to Izmir, had started in 2013. 508-km-long line will be the most expensive high speed line project of Turkey. When completed, the travel time between two cities will drop down to 3.5 hours.
Not “very high speed” anymore
Some of the high speed lines in Turkey are constructed as “very high speed line” which allows a speed of 250 km/h. Ankara-Istanbul and Polatli-Konya are such lines. Ankara-Izmir was the last “very high speed line”. All other projects after that was designed as “high standard railway” allowing max speed of 200 km/h. This new concept is not only cheaper, but also allows running of freight trains on the line. Ankara-Izmir is recently decided to be so as well, as mentioned in 2021 investment program.
4 new cities to meet HSTs
Ankara-Izmir high speed line starts with from the junction at Yenice on Ankara-Konya high speed line, at south of Polatli. Train will pass through Afyon, Usak and Manisa, will reach to Izban suburban line at Menemen and end at Basmane train station at Izmir city center.
First target is Afyonkarahisar
Ankara (Yenice) – Izmir high speed line is 508 km long, being the second longest hst line of Turkey. The project will be commissioned in two phases. First phase is Yenice-Afyonkarahisar, which is planned to open in 2022.
Second phase is Afyon-Usak-Manisa-Menemen. Target is 2023. In this section, line goes in parallel to conventional line in some parts. This may enable an early opening before whole line is commissioned by using the conventional line partially.
Demand for passenger trains to increase
When completed, the line will not only attract passengers between Ankara and Izmir, but whole passenger traffic between Central Anatolia and Western Coast. Passengers from Eastern Anatolia by Sivas HSTs and other main line trains, from neighbourhood of Polatli and Afyon via short-distance services can travel to Western Coast easily and quickly.
This line is on the route of two sleeper service, Izmir Mavi (Ankara-Izmir) and Konya Mavi (Izmir-Konya). Despite Istanbul-Ankara HSTs, Ankara Express was still running, thus both trains are expected to continue. If they use this line, travel time will be reduced by half, which may increase their popularity.
Cover photo: YDA ©
Categories: Railway Infrastructure