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Some facts about TCDD


With the beginning of the 21st century, TCDD is undergoing the most dramatic changes ever since its creation. Beyond some highly visible project, the whole culture of TCDD is being turned upside-down. The pace of change is limited, as always, by the financial means of TCDD. Nevertheless, TCDD in 2010 will be a lot more different that TCDD in 2000.

TCDD is quietly dropping a policy of network expansion designed by the state planning to open up areas with poor communication. Instead, it is slowly adopting a strategy based on transportation market demand. The most visible aspect of this policy are:

  • the slow and discreet abandonment of minor branches and unprofitable lines.
  • the closure of secondary station with little or no traffic
  • the termination of wagon load traffic to many places

Now, investments and efforts are focused on the trunk line Istanbul - Eskişehir - Ankara with line upgrade and new rolling stock, the rail-crossing of the Bosphorus and the upgrading of the network around Izmir to provide modern mass transportation to the third city of the country.

For more about these changes, readers are advised to check out the e-group TURK-RAIL for the latest information.

See also

  • Statistics regarding TCDD are given in the Statistics page.
  • Marmaray: the rail tunnel under the Bosphorus in Istanbul
  • Sleeping Projects which are uncompleted and currently sleeping or dead are reported in this sleeping projects page.

Upgrade of Istanbul Ankara line

After nearly 20 years of toying with the idea of a direct high speed line between Istanbul and Ankara, TCDD and the State have finally postponed this project for a more sensible one: the upgrade of Istanbul Ankara line. This upgrade has several obvious qualities: The upgrade was overdue by 50 years! The Ankara Istanbul line is almost in its original shape, as done by the CFOA in the 19th century, apart from a 25KV electrification installed in the 1990's. This line is single track most of way, with many area much in need of realignment The major station of Eskişehir generates a substantial traffic, both local and from connection to the lines of Izmir and Afyon. These passengers would not have benefited from the previously proposed direct high speed line. The cost of the project is lower as many existing infrastructure can be used. The goal of the project is to increase both the capacity of the line and the maximum speed. To achieve this, three actions are undertaken: Double tracking of most of line. Renewal of signaling and telecoms New passenger rolling stock, using tilting EMUs. TCDD website is providing good details about this project. See here: www.tcdd.gov.tr

New Ankara Konya line

A new Ankara Konya line, double track, electrified and suitable for 200km/h was inaugurated in 2012. This line branches off the Istanbul Ankara high speed line south of Polatı. The junction enables direct runing from Istanbul/Eskişehir and Ankara to Konya.

Izmir suburb electrification (July 2001)

Izmir City is currently developing public rail transportation. The master plan involves the creation of light metro lines on new infrastructures or on former TCDD right of way. The first line of 11,6 km opened in year 2000 between Üçyol and Bornova. Next is the upgrading of existing TCDD lines to create a modern high capacity network. Both line from Basmane to Aliağa and Alsancak to Cumaovası are to be upgraded.

The installation of a modern signaling has already started. A new signaling and train control center is being built just next to Alsancak station. All level crossings are to be replaced by under or over pass, additional stations will be created. Some of these stations will have bus and cars interchange facilities. Finally, the lines will be electrified. The track layout will be upgraded to allow sharing of the infrastructure between the suburb trains and main line service.

The aim is to run trains at short headway, presumably 4mm, to provide a high capacity and a better service. An estimated 150 to 200 cars will be needed at first.

Iran Turkey cross traffic reopening

Direct train to Tehran started again in March 2000. The service that was interrupted since 1992 was launched on a special ceremony on 13 march 2000. This traffic reopens the train ferry line across the Van Lake, from Van to Tatvan. Then, the trains are routed to Istanbul via Malatya, Sivas and Ankara. The overall trip from Istanbul to Tehran takes two days, the crossing of the Van Lake being done at night. The line from Van to the Iranian Border was inaugurated on 27 September 1971 and is known as the CENTO railways (Central Treaty Organization) from the UN treaty that sponsored its building.