A further indicator of major rail development in Eurasia arrived last week with the announcement by Turkey’s Interim Science, Industry and Technology Minister, Fikri Işık that €13 Billion is to be invested into the purchasing of new tram cars and metro vehicles. The report in the Daily Sabah has Işık seeing these investments as a big step towards the completion of Turkey’s ambitious plans for the expansion of its rail and metro systems due to be finished in 2023.
This announcement is the latest in a steady stream of contracts and plans coming out of Turkey that hope to modernise and develop the current transportation system and connect the whole of the country. In July 2014 plans for the high-speed rail link between Istanbul and Ankara, YHT, were completed, the line now offers a faster and safer alternative to car travel between Turkey’s two principal cities. Completed by Turkish Railways (TCCD) it has successfully reduced the journey from six hours down to just over three.
Successful projects and future development plans have seen companies making huge investments in Turkey, all in the hopes of winning tenders and being involved. In fact only last week did Global Rail News publish an article about Siemens’ planned investment in a €30 million tram production facility on the outskirts of Istanbul. Jochen Eickholt, head of Siemens’ rail business, stating on the announcement: “We are now aiming at building on this success in the global market. We have the best chances of succeeding here with a factory in Turkey.” There is no doubt that this is an exciting time for companies, in the country or who want to be involved in the development of Eurasian rail.
The funds for Işık’s National Rail Vehicle Systems Development Project – including the purchasing of tram cars and metro vehicles – have been given by the Marmara Research Centre of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). With their involvement Minister Işık argued the aim of the project is to develop the CER motor and control unit, and therefore changing the management system of all urban trains, metros and trams in Turkey. It is hoped that that the aforementioned project can be completed by 2016. Clearly, the €13 billion investment announced by Minister Fikri Işık will be just one of many steps in the ongoing plans to change the face of Turkey’s transport system. The plans will help revolutionise the movement of people across this vast country, increasing usability and efficiency.
Do you want to hear more about the development of rail and metro in Turkey and the rest of Eurasia, or feel like you have something to add? Then visit our SmartRail Eurasia page to see more about the event we are holding in Istanbul on the 26th and 27th January. SmartRail Eurasia be a fantastic opportunity to share European best practice, explore new ideas and discover the latest solutions. There couldn’t be a more exciting time to be in Turkey, than for SmartRail Eurasia.
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