TURKEY: The Samsun – Kalin section of the line from the Black Sea city of Samsun to Sivas in central Anatolia was reopened for freight operations on May 4, following a five-year closure by infrastructure manager TCDD while major renovation and modernisation works were undertaken.
A date for the resumption of passenger services is not expected to be confirmed before the lifting of restrictions on travel in and out of the areas of Turkey which have been worst affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Work to modernise and electrify the 378 km line began in June 2015, using a grant of €240m from the European Union’s IPA Transport Operational Programme to cover 85% of the cost.
Construction was undertaken by a consortium of Çelikler Group, Gülermak Heavy Industries and Czech firm AŽD Praha, which had a €27m share of the contract covering the supply, installation and testing of signalling systems.
TCDD is also constructing a 550 000 m2 logistics centre at Sivas.
- On May 5, Minister for Transport & Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu announced that tracklaying had been completed on the 405 km high speed line between Ankara and Sivas, while signalling and electrical works were nearing completion. Test running began in March, and Karaismailoğlu anticipated that high speed services on the route with six new stations would begin before the end of the year. This is expected to reduce journey time between Ankara and Sivas to 2 h, compared to 12 h on the existing 603 km route via Kayseri.