Turkey's first high-speed train will begin test runs in June, the head of Turkish State Railways (TCDD) said on Monday.
TCDD's Director General Suleyman Karaman said that the high-speed train service would start in 2008 if the test runs between capital Ankara and central Anatolian province of Eskisehir were conducted successfully.
Referring to similar high-speed train projects in other countries, Karaman said the countries generally preferred to construct the first line between the capital city and an industrial hub.
"Therefore, we have started the construction work between Ankara and Istanbul," he said.
Karaman said the Ankara-Eskisehir line was completed, and the TCDD planned to start the construction of Eskisehir-Istanbul line this year.
He also said that the infrastructure of the high-speed train project between Ankara and central Anatolian province of Sivas was almost finished.
"With this project, it will take 2 hours to travel from Ankara to Sivas. But such line has significance as it will connect Turkey's East to the West," Karaman said.
Karaman said high-speed train service would also start on the Istanbul-Ankara-Konya line, once the superstructure works were completed.
"With the implementation of high-speed train service, we will build modern station buildings across the country as well," he said.
Karaman said the first modern train station complex, which would include a hotel and a shopping mall, would be constructed in Ankara.
Turkey started building high-speed rail lines in 2003. The project will link capital Ankara to Istanbul. The first phase of the project was the line between Ankara and Eskisehir. High-speed train will lower the 180-minute train travel from Ankara to Eskisehir to 70 minutes.
TCDD purchased first high-speed train sets, with a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour, from Spain's CAF company last year.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Haziran 2008, 13:33