Mock-up of Turkey's National Train on show at Eurasiarail.

TURKEY: The first of 21 five-car electric multiple-units being developed under the 'National Train' programme to enhance local manufacturing capabilities is set to carry passengers in late 2019.

The 160 km/h inter-regional trainsets are to be produced at the Tüvasaş factory in Sakarya province and will make use of a much higher proportion of local components than existing designs.

Tüvasaş is leading the design work, and the company exhibited a mock-up of the exterior at the Eurasiarail trade show in Istanbul on March 2-4. National passenger operator TCDD Tasimacilik has already agreed to introduce the fleet from late 2019.

As well as fostering a stronger domestic supply chain, the National Train project is also intended to showcase Turkish suppliers' ability to deliver products that comply with European Technical Specifications for Interoperability. Tüvasaş has previously supplied TSI-compliant hauled coaches to Bulgaria, and sees the National Train EMU as a potential foundation for it to win more orders internationally.

Principal local contractors include Bozankaya (bogies) and Tülomsaş (traction equipment). Where TSI-compliant components cannot be sourced from local businesses, Tüvasaş expects Turkish companies to reach licensing agreements with international suppliers that would support the government's localisation policy objectives.

The aluminium-bodied trains will include first class and buffet cars as well as a vehicle designed to be accessible for passengers of reduced mobility. The total seating capacity would be 322 plus two wheelchair spaces. The trains will have an axleload of less than 18 tonnes, and operate under Turkey's standard 25 kV 50 Hz electrification,