Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, in his statement on the occasion of Railways Week, said that railways are an indispensable part of transportation because they are safe, cheap and fast, and they also have historical and strategic importance beyond the economic and social life of the country.

Emphasizing the strategic importance of Turkey in international freight and passenger transportation, which is located in the middle corridor of the iron Silk Road between Asia and Europe, reaching from China to London, Uraloğlu said:

“Moving from this fact, under the leadership of our President, we have taken railways as a state policy and determined them as a priority sector with the development moves we have initiated since 2003. In order to turn the opportunities provided by the geographical location of our country, which serves as a bridge between Asia and Europe, into economic and commercial advantages, new developments are being made in railways.” We have initiated a breakthrough. We have approached our railways with a new approach suitable for combined transportation by connecting our railway lines to ports, airports and logistics centers. With our projects, we planned to make railway transportation contributing to the economy not only on the east-west line but also between our north-south coasts. “

“We have invested approximately 880 billion lira in railways in the last 21 years.”

Minister Uraloğlu underlined that they made serious investments, improvement, renewal and development moves in the railways in the country between 2003 and 2023, and said, “We have invested approximately 880 billion liras in railways in the last 21 years. We have overhauled and renewed all of our railways.” he said.

Reminding that they built the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line, which constitutes the most important link of the “One Road, One Belt” initiative, which aims to revitalize the historical Silk Road, Uraloğlu said that with this project, Marmaray and London, which make uninterrupted railway transportation between the Asian and European continents possible, He stated that they created the safest, shortest and most economical international railway corridor from 2017 to Beijing.

“We increased the railway length to 14 thousand kilometers”

Uraloğlu explained that they added approximately 3 thousand kilometers to the railway length, which was approximately 11 thousand kilometers in 2003, as of 2023, of which 2 thousand 250 kilometers are High Speed ​​​​Train (YHT) and high-speed train lines, thus increasing the railway length to 14 thousand kilometers.

Pointing out that the country’s first YHT line was opened between Ankara and Eskişehir on March 13, 2009, Uraloğlu said that Ankara-Konya in 2011, Eskişehir-İstanbul in 2014, Konya-Karaman in 2022 and Ankara-Sivas lines were opened this year.

Minister Uraloğlu stated that the comfortable, fast and modern travel service with high-speed trains has reached approximately 50 percent of the country’s population in 19 provinces, directly and indirectly, and said:

“With our 2053 Transportation and Logistics Master Plan and road map, we will increase the number of provinces receiving high-speed train service to 52 when we complete all our high-speed train projects such as Ankara-İzmir, Mersin-Adana-Gaziantep, Halkalı-Kapıkule. Our railway line length is 28 thousand 590. We will increase it to kilometers. Currently, our construction works are continuing on approximately 3 thousand 800 kilometers of new railway line. In addition, the project works of approximately 5 thousand 800 kilometers of line have been completed and our study and project studies are continuing on 5 thousand kilometers. In addition, with our 2053 net zero emission target, “We plan to reduce road transportation from 72 percent to 57 percent and increase railway freight transportation from 5 percent to 22 percent. In this way, we will achieve a significant reduction in carbon emissions.”

Pointing out that modernization investments such as new railway lines and making existing lines electrified, signaled and double-tracked are continuing, Uraloğlu pointed out that currently 8 thousand 46 kilometers, corresponding to 58 percent of the lines, are signalled. Uraloğlu stated that the construction work on the 1460-kilometer line continues.

Uraloğlu pointed out that in addition to the existing 12 logistics centers in order to increase railway freight transportation, the construction works on the Gelemen-Tekkeköy and Sincan-Yenikent-Kazan-Soda lines continue within the scope of the construction of Sivas and Boğazköprü logistics centers and the provision of connection lines to factories, ports and organized industrial zones. He emphasized that within the framework of urban suburban management, the construction works of the Konyaray project in Konya, in addition to İZBAN in Izmir, Marmaray in Istanbul, Başkentray in Ankara and Gaziray in Gaziantep, are continuing.

“We consider the One Belt One Road Project as an important opportunity”

Stating that international integration in transportation is the “dynamo of economic development” and that railway investments are considered one of the most important power sources of this dynamo, Uraloğlu made the following evaluation:

“In this context, we consider the One Belt One Road Project, which will connect Asia, Europe and the Middle East, as a very important opportunity for our country. In order for the middle corridor of this project to be the New Silk Road, as we call it, east-west and north-south roads within the country We are implementing projects that will complete the missing transportation connections on the axis. The implementation of the ‘Iron Silk Road’ extending from London to Beijing is one of the tasks we have handled meticulously. Marmaray, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line and the Ankara-based core railway line that we have built in the last 21 years. “Our high-speed train lines are also products of this vision.”

Uraloğlu pointed out that international railway freight transportation, which was 1 million 715 thousand tons in 2003, reached 4 million 422 thousand tons with an increase of 158 percent in 2022, reaching the best values ​​of all time.

Explaining that approximately 1 million 500 thousand tons of cargo has been transported on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line so far, Uraloğlu said:

“Works on passenger transportation between Azerbaijan-Georgia and Turkey on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway Line are also continuing. Construction works are continuing on the 246-kilometer railway route of the railway line passing through Georgia, and the completion of the works and the passenger transportation of this line It is planned to carry passengers after it is certified for

Uraloğlu stated that they foresee the rate of railway transportation, which is 4 percent in the country, to increase to over 11 percent in 2029 and to be approximately 22 percent in 2053, thus adding that the share of railways in freight transportation in Turkey will increase 7 times by 2053. .

Uraloğlu added that they aim to increase the share of railways in international freight transportation by 10 times.

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