Turkey to invest in railways over next 30 years: minister

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ANKARA

Turkey will invest in building railways over the next three decades, the country’s transport minister has said.

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“We have gone from a period when we invested 65% in highways to a period when we earned 65% in railways,” said Adil Karaismailoğlu.

While the construction of 4,500 kilometers of railways is currently underway across Turkey, it is planned within this time to increase the total railway network from 13,000 to 29,000 kilometers, the minister noted.

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

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

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

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

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Railways in Turkey accounted for 3% of all freight shipments in 2019, but their share is expected to exceed 11% and reach 22% by 2053, according to the minister.

The amount of transport investment needed to increase both freight and passenger capacity is $197.9 billion, he said, noting that it is expected to contribute $1 trillion to national income and $2 trillion in production, and creating jobs for over 27 million people. people.

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

Maritime transport, air transport and communications will also benefit from these investments, according to the minister.

“We are currently building new cell towers in 1,000 villages, the cost of which is 7 billion Turkish liras [$375 million]. Then we will build it in another 1,000 villages.

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The ministry is also investing heavily in fiber infrastructure in city centers, which has reached 480,000 kilometres, he noted, adding that it aims to exceed 1 million kilometres.

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

Türksat 5A currently offers services, especially television broadcasting, in an area covering 30% of the world, while Türksat 5B provides Internet and communication services in otherwise inaccessible areas.

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

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