The railway connecting Turkey to Europe via Kapikule is interrupted due to construction works.
Due to cracks detected in the railway tunnel on Istanbul-Kapikule railway, where it meets the new Cerkezkoy-Kapikule high speed line under construction, all rail traffic is suspended between Tayakadin and Edirne. Suspension caused delays and disruptions in Turkey-Europe freight trains.
Currently, around 40 trains are running every week on this line between Turkey and Europe, most of which are container trains. Due to the problem in the tunnel, trains can only reach to Kapikule. Trains at Halkali have to wait for opening to depart.
Rail Cargo, which controls more than half of this traffic, had parked their trains on way to Turkey at terminals. Turkrail has been transhipping the containers to trucks at Kapikule. However Kapikule has a very limited area for such a big traffic. Edirne terminal is much bigger, but does not have bounded area, which prevents transhipment of containers there.
Both companies expressed that they are working on bringing trains via Greece. However, there’s no electrification on Greece side of border. Thus it will not be easy to find enough diesel locos to meet such big traffic.
The Halkali-Kapikule regional train, which recently had restarted service, is suspended until problem is solved.
Construction of a bypass line has already started. The works will continue during day and night. It’s expected to be completed and open to service until end of this week.
Cover photo: Turkrail ©
Categories: Railway Infrastructure