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Sven Wesenberg

I visited Istanbul in march 2015 and march 2017. Using the line between Ayrılıkçeşmesi and Yenikapı several times I’m very impressed with the system. Spacious trains, clean stations and cars and very affordable with the Istanbul kart. About me: tram driver from Munich/Germany, discovering urban and suburban railway systems around the world.

Patrick

I would actually argue that even in electric cars, some of the responsibility for energy use lies with the car manufacturer and user. For example, the British government likes to say that it’s reducing carbon emissions, but sometimes the reason is because production has moved to China! In this case, clearly the emissions are still happening and the British government is still partly responsible, but in its reporting it’s able to make itself look more green. Some of TCDD’s energy impact MAY (I say may because I don’t know for certain!) be like this.
I think your report is largely very fair, I just wanted to suggest caution in interpreting the data. For example, because of the possible problems I listed in my last post, I don’t know if we can say for certain that TCDD’s electrification is worth a forest. In the short-term, all their hard work to prepare the railway may have cost a forest. I would also argue that we can’t say the decrease in fuel consumption means 80 million kg of CO2 have been prevented – some, most or all of this CO2 will still have been released, but just not from diesel.
However, I accept that in the long-term this is definitely a good news story that Turkey should be proud of and very important to share so thank you for reporting it.

Jeff Hawken

The stated “cost” of running any given passenger service is very susceptible to political interference. That is a general comment, not one specifically aimed at Turkey. So if the aim is to make the infrastructure company “profitable”, then the track access charges will increase, causing fares increases, and making the train operations unprofitable. Conversely, if the imperative is to maintain the level of fares, then the infrastructure company will become unprofitable. The only thing I am certain about is that the existing bloated TCDD Tasimacilik train operation will need to shed vast numbers of its staff in order to become profitable, or to be able to compete with private operators. That could become very unpopular indeed.