The high-speed railway Istanbul-Konya was inaugurated by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on on 17 December 2014. In length of 460 km, the line cuts time travel by 9 hours, from 13 hours to 4 hours.
“For decades, we only sat back and watched developments taking place in the West. We could see high speed trains only on TV and see planes only when we lay down on the ground and looked up to the sky,” Erdoğan said in a televised speech.
This is the second high-speed railway opened this year: in July, Turkey opened Istanbul – Ankara HSR. Turkish Minister of Transport Lutfi Elvan announced in April 20147 that the country would develop its own high-speed network completed in 2018. At present, there are high-speed railway lines between Ankara – Konya and Ankara – Sivas and Ankara – Eskişehir (mentioned above). Moreover, studies and analyses are carried out on the high-speed railway projects of Ankara – Izmir (594 km), Bursa – Osmaneli (106 km), Istanbul – Edirne (230 km), Ankara – Samsun, Eskişehir – Antalya, Konya – Antalya, Diyarbakır – Trabzon and Ankara (Yerköy) – Kayseri (150 km).
According to the declarations of the former Minister of Transport, Binali Yıldırım, 2.500 km of high-speed railways would be built over the next five years. The 2.500 km of railways will connect 14 cities in Turkey.
Photo: Anadolu Agency