Wednesday 10 May 2023

Grand Opening of Türkiye’s ambitious Ankara-Sivas High-Speed Rail Line project

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The Ankara-Sivas High-Speed Rail Line, one of Türkiye’s great projects, was inaugurated with three separate grand ceremonies on 26 April 2023. These were held in Kırıkkale, Yozgat and Sivas with the participation of Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay, the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Adil Karaismailoğlu, and TCDD Director-General Hasan Pezük, as well as cabinet members and political party leaders.

The President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who could not attend the official ceremonies due to his illness, stated through his social media accounts that the Ankara-Kırıkkale-Yozgat-Sivas High-Speed Rail Line would be free of charge until the end of May.

For the opening, the first train departed from Ankara HST station, stopping at the Kırıkkale and Yozgat stations. At the joint opening ceremony of the Ankara-Sivas High-Speed Rail Line, the National Park, the Science Centre and the Yahşihan Yenişehir Bridge Crossing and other completed projects, which was held at Kırıkkale station, Vice President Oktay spoke, stating, “With the addition of the Ankara-Sivas line, we have completed one of the most critical phases of our Ankara-centred high-speed rail network. The Ankara-Sivas line will also form an important part of the east-west high-speed rail corridor stretching from Edirne to Kars. With the commissioning of this project, we have increased the total length of rail lines to 13,896 kilometres and the length of high-speed rail lines to 2228 kilometres. Currently, construction work is also underway on a further 3593 kilometres of high-speed rail line.

The first project: the Ankara-Sivas High-Speed Rail Line

There are eight stations along the 405-kilometre line, namely Elmadağ, Kırıkkale, Yerköy, Yozgat, Sorgun, Akdağmadeni, Yıldızeli and Sivas. The line reduces the distance by rail between Ankara and Sivas from 603 kilometres to 405 kilometres, with the travel time, which was previously 12 hours with the conventional line, being reduced to 2 hours between Ankara and Sivas and to 1 hour between Ankara and Yozgat.

There are 49 tunnels (with a total length of 66 kilometres) and 49 viaducts (with a total length of 27 kilometres) on the Ankara-Sivas High-Speed Rail Line. The longest tunnel in the project was built in Akdağmadeni with a length of 5125 metres, and the longest railway viaduct was built in Çerikli-Kırıkkale with a length of 2220 metres.

Also within the scope of the project, a railway viaduct with the highest pier in Türkiye (at 89 metres high) was built in Elmadağ, as well as domestically produced rails being used for the first time on the high-speed rail line. Additionally, the first ballastless tracks were constructed with 138 kilometres of slab tracks being used in tunnels, and a domestic ice prevention and de-icing facility was built in Sivas.

(Source: TCDD)

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