Turkiye to invest in railways in next 30 years: Minister

Turkiye will invest in building railways in the next three decades, the country’s transportation minister has said.

“We have moved from a period where we invested 65 percent on highways to a period when we made 65 percent on railroads,” Adil Karaismailoğlu said.

While the construction of 4,500 kilometers of railways is currently underway throughout Turkiye, it is aimed within this period to increase the total railway network from 13,000 to 29,000 kilometers, the minister noted.

The target is to increase the number of passengers carried on railways from 19.5 million to 270 million in the next 30 years, Karaismailoğlu said.

“High-speed trains presently serve some 20,000 passengers a day. Once the number of services is increased, the passenger capacity will rise by 31 percent to more than 25,000 people,” he said earlier.

As part of the work under the 2053 Transport and Logistics Master Plan, the number of provinces connected to the high-speed train network will increase from eight to 52, he also said.

“Turkiye will be built with railways designed not only to carry passengers but also cargo.The products produced by the Turkish industry will be transported to the most critical ports of the country by railways. Today, 38 million tons of freight are transported by railways, which will increase to 448 million tons after 30 years,” Karaismailoğlu said.

Railways in Turkiye accounted for 3 percent of all freight shipments in 2019, but their share is projected to increase above 11 percent and further up to 22 percent by 2053, according to the minister.

The amount of investments to be made in transportation to boost both cargo and passenger capacity is $197.9 billion, he said, stressing that it is expected to contribute $1 trillion to national income and $2 trillion to production, and to create employment for more than 27 million people.

The Turkish State Railways (TCDD) network currently spans a total of 13,022 kilometers (8,000 miles) in line length, up from 12,608 kilometers (7,800 miles) in 2017.

Sea transport, air transport and communications will also take their shares from those investments, according to the minister.

“We are currently building new cell towers in 1,000 villages, whose cost is 7 billion Turkish Liras [$375 million]. Then we will build it in 1,000 more villages.”

The ministry also invests heavily in fiber infrastructures in city centers, which reached 480.000 kilometers, he noted, adding that it is aimed to exceed 1 million kilometers.

Karaismailoğlu also reiterated that Turkiye aims to send another satellite, Türksat 6A, to space in the second quarter of 2023.

Türksat 5A presently offers services, particularly TV broadcasting, in an area covering 30 percent of the world, while Türksat 5B provides internet and communication services to the areas otherwise inaccessible.

Türksat Uydu Haberleşme Kablo TV (Türksat) is one of the world’s leading companies providing all sorts of satellite communications through the satellites of Türksat as well as other satellites, he said.


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