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.
- Turkish State Railway on Wikipedia for general knowledge & facts
- Sleeping Projects which are uncompleted and currently sleeping or dead are reported in this sleeping projects page.
Istanbul Ankara line High speed 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 was 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 first part was opened to traffic in 2009.
See in High speed train (Yüksek Hızlı Tren) in Wikipedia.
Marmaray: Istanbul "cross Bosphorus" tunnel
Even though Istanbul is famous for being the city linking Europe and Asia, a direct rail crossing still did not exist until 2013 and trains had to board a train ferry to go across. The inefficiency of this system is easy to see: the train ferry's capacity is about 400 tons (or 5 fully loaded Habis wagons), currently a standard TCDD freight train limit is between 900 to 1600 tons. Therefore, it took 3 or 4 (possibly more) ferry journeys to transport a single standard freight train across the Bosphorus, easily taking several hours - a classic bottleneck.
Projects to built such a link under the Bosphorus were perhaps as numerous as the cross Channel projects, however nothing materialized. Finally, as the 20th century closed, a serious project, named Marmaray, could be put together and now the tunnel under the Bosphorus is one of the most ambitious civil engineering project currently in Europe.