Train services in Turkey have featured prominently in the news recently, with the new Eastern Express and the Edirne to Bulgaria’s Plovdiv passenger rail link becoming operational in May and June this year.
With no elections scheduled for the next four years, the government will concentrate on economic reforms and the completion of ongoing mega-scale transportation and infrastructure projects.
Since 2003, railway investments in Turkey have gained momentum with high-speed rail lines from Ankara-Eskişehir-Istanbul, Ankara-Konya and Konya-Eskişehir-Istanbul making travel more accessible and reducing journey times.
A new high-speed rail line from Ankara to Izmir is currently under construction. This line is particularly important for bringing Ankara closer to Izmir, an attractive tourist destination, along with Manisa, Uşak and Afyonkarahisar.
When the Ankara-Izmir high-speed rail is completed, the travel time between the two cities will only be three and a half hours as opposed to 14 hours by car.
Another high-speed railway line from Ankara to Sivas, will reduce travel time between the two central Anatolian cities from five hours to two hours. This line is a significant link for Asian countries located in Asia Minor and along the Silk Road.
Construction continues on a 101-kilometer highway on the Malkara-Gelibolu-Çanakkale 1915 Bridge as part of the Kınalı-Tekirdağ-Çanakkale-Savaştepe Highway Project.
The retaining structures (caissons) are now in place in the Çannakale Strait, with the next stage being the placement of the bridge abutments. The road is planned to be completed by end of 2019.
A 330-kilometer highway will link Ankara to the Mediterranean and southeastern regions through Aksehir, Nevşehir and Niğde
An uninterrupted highway will connect Edirne to Şanlıurfa.
A 479-kilometer Mediterranean Coast Road project will provide 40-kilometer shortcut with tunnels and bridges. The project is set for completion in 2020.
The final stage of the Istanbul-Izmir Highway and Osmangazi Bridge project is underway. The 448-kilometer road, including 406 kilometers of motorways and access roads, will be completed by August. The highway reduces the distance between Istanbul and Izmir by up to three and a half hours.
A new airport is currently being built in Rize, a town along the eastern Black Sea coast. The facility is the 56th airport in the country and is planned to be in service by October 2020.
The Rize-Artvin project, which is 34 km from Rize, will be the second airport to be built on sea fill, after Ordu-Giresun airport on the Black Sea coast built several years ago.
Last year, Rize hosted approximately one million local and foreign tourists. The airport will be suitable for big airplanes is forecasted to serve about three million tourists annually.
Source: Daily Sabah/Business Turkey