Turkish Minister of Transport, Cahit Turhan, and the EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, officially launched in Edirne the modernisation works on the 229-km railway connection between Turkey and Bulgaria.
The Halkalı- Kapıkule railway project, that will link the metropolitan area of İstanbul and Bulgaria at Turkish border crossing point in Kapıkule, has a total value of EUR 1 billion, of which the EU provided Turkey a 275 million grant. The EU funding is part of the investment portfolio in Turkey financed through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) funds for the period 2014-2020.
“Successful completion of Halkalı- Kapıkule rail link will serve as an anchor in sustaining Turkey-EU relations and will lay the ground for more synergies in the future,” Bulc mentioned.
The double-track electrified line will have 200 km/h design speed and will be equipped with signaling systems that are compatible with the EU standards (ERTMS/ETCS Level 1).
The double track line will have a length of 229 km and it will be built in two phases. The Cerkezkoy-Kapikule section, which will be funded by the EU, it will be constructed by the Gulermak-Alsim Alarko consortium and the Halkali-Cerkezkoy section, which will be funded by the Turkish government.
In May, Salini Impregilo won a EUR 530 million contract for the construction of a 153-kilometre section part of Halkalı- Kapıkule line. The contract includes electrification, signalling and other auxiliary civil works.
Sweco was named by the Ministry of Transport as the engineering consultant to elaborate the detailed design of Halkalı-Kapıkule line.
The project is expected to be completed in 2022, when trains will be able to run at speeds of 200 km/h.