Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway

The Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway (Turkish: Ankara–İstanbul yüksek hızlı demiryolu), is a 561 km (349 mi) long high-speed railway currently running between Ankara and Halkalı (in Istanbul). As of March 2019 most services terminate at Söğütlüçeşme railway station in the Kadıköy district of İstanbul and the fastest journey time between Söğütlüçeşme and Ankara is 4 hours and 15 minutes.

Ankara–Istanbul high-speed railway
YHT at Ankara.JPG
A westbound train waiting to depart Ankara Central Station
OwnerTurkish State Railways
LocaleCentral Anatolia
Halkalı, Istanbul
TypeHigh-speed rail
SystemTurkish State Railways
Operator(s)TCDD Taşımacılık
Depot(s)Güvercinlik Yard
New Ispartakule Yard Future
Rolling stockHT65000, HT80000
Opened13 March 2009 (Ankara-Eskişehir)
25 July 2014 (Eskişehir-Pendik)
13 March 2019 (Pendik -Halkalı)
Line length561 km (348.59 mi)[1]
Number of tracksDouble track
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Loading gaugeUIC standard
Minimum radius3 500 m
Electrification25 kV, 50 Hz AC Overhead line
Operating speed250 km/h (160 mph)[1]
SignallingETCS Level 1
Maximum incline16


The planned Turkish high-speed rail network.

Construction on the route is taking place in two phases. The first phase is a 251 kilometres (156 mi), $747 million route between Sincan (a district of Ankara) and İnönü, for which construction began in 2003 on a segment between Esenkent[disambiguation needed] and Eskisehir; this segment was completed in 2007.[1] Regular service between Ankara and Eskisehir began on 13 March 2009.[2] Two shorter lines complete the first phase: a line between Eskisehir and İnönü began construction in 2008 and was completed in 2010, and a line between Sincan and Esenkent was built in 2008.[1]

The second phase, between İnönü and Pendik, is about 214 kilometres (133 mi) long, and costs $2.27 billion.[1] The substantially higher price of the second phase is due to more challenging terrain than the first, including 33 bridges and 39 tunnels.

The section between Inonu and Pendik (a suburb on the Asian side of Istanbul) was opened by the prime minister on 25 July 2014, with the service between Istanbul (Pendik) and Ankara taking 3.5 hours. The service started with six departures daily in both directions.[3] The line will continue into central Istanbul when the Marmaray project is completed in approximately 2018.[4] Until the high speed line is fully completed, the high speed trains will use conventional line on some parts of the route (between Sapanca and Alifuatpaşa. The line is planned to be completed fully in 2016, and the total budget is expected to reach 8.8 billion TL.[5]

Construction is partially financed through foreign sources, including €1.25 billion from the European Investment Bank and €120 million from the European Union.[6]

The China Railway Construction Corporation and the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation won the bid in 2005 to build the railway line in partnership with two Turkish companies, Cengiz Construction and Ibrahim Cecen Ictas Construction. The project was financed in part by a $750 million loan granted to Turkey by China.

Infrastructure, sections and speedsEdit

Section Length Max Speed Notes
Ankara - Sincan 24 km 140 km/h Rebuilt as part of the Başkentray project. Opened on 12 April 2018.
Sincan - Polatlı 69 km 250 km/h Esenkent-Polatlı section opened on 13 March 2009, while the Sincan-Esenkent section opened on 13 March 2010.
Polatlı - Eskişehir 152 km Opened on 13 March 2009.
Eskişehir - Vezirhan 92 km Opened on 25 July 2014.
Vezirhan - Köseköy 96 km Opened on 25 July 2014, except for the section between Alifuatpaşa and Sapanca (~23 km) which is still under construction and is by-passed with the existing conventional railway line.
Köseköy - Gebze 56 km 160 km/h Opened on 25 July 2014. Tracks are shared with other trains.
Gebze - Istanbul 44 km 120 km/h Rebuilt as part of Marmaray project. Gebze-Pendik section opened on 25 July 2014 and Pendik-Söğütlüçeşme section on 12 March 2019. The last tiny section(~1.5km) to connect Haydarpaşa Terminal and including a new railway bridge is under construction.

Alcatel won an $80 million contract to supply signalling services on the line, as well as interlockings and control systems,[1] while Thales Group has been contracted to supply an ETCS train control system for the Sincan—Eskisehir portion of the route.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Ankara-Istanbul High-Speed Train Project, Turkey". Railway Technology. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  2. ^ "Turkey's First High-Speed Train Service to Begin Next Month". Turkish Weekly. 25 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  3. ^ Uysal, Onur. "New Schedule for Istanbul-Ankara High Speed Train", Rail Turkey, 9 August 2014
  4. ^ Acar, Cihan, "Istanbul Railway ‘project of the century’ in epic delays"[permanent dead link], RZD-Partner, 18 February 2015
  5. ^ Uysal, Onur."5 Billion Needed Annually for High Speed Trains", Rail Turkey, 30 January 2014
  6. ^ "EIB loans €400m for Istanbul-Ankara high speed rail line". 19 December 2011. Archived from the original on 20 December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Thales to upgrade Turkish high speed line to ETCS Level 2". Railway Gazette. 2 February 2012. Archived from the original on 15 February 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2012.

External linksEdit