Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan announced on Wednesday that a new high-speed train line connecting İstanbul and Ankara will be open by mid-May, even though the planned date had previously been stated as February.
Ankara was originally planning to open the line on Oct. 29, the same day of the opening of the country's first undersea railway tube, the Marmaray, which passes under the Bosporus. In November, former Minister of Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yıldırım said the high-speed rail line project would not make its scheduled end date of Jan. 1.
The travel time between the two cities is expected to be three hours and 15 minutes. It was earlier announced as a three-hour-long journey, but another 15 minutes has been added because workers were not able to complete the construction of a tunnel in Sakarya. There will be 12 stations, and the train will stop in Ankara, Sincan, Polatlı, Eskişehir, Bozüyük, Bilecik, Pamukova, Arifiye, Sapanca, İzmit, Gebze and Pendik.
Travel time between İstanbul and Ankara is normally a five-hour journey by car. Turkey's first high-speed line, between Ankara and Eskişehir in Central Anatolia, has been operating since 2009, making the country's national rail company the sixth in Europe to offer a high-speed rail service.
Long overdue high-speed train to open mid-May
(Photo: Today's Zaman)
May 01, 2014, Thursday/ 19:00:55/ TODAY'S ZAMAN / ANKARA