TODAY’S – High-speed line breaks down with ErdoIan aboard

High-speed line breaks down with ErdoIan aboardThe high-speed train, after many delays, was on its way from Ankara to Istanbul on Friday when it broke down in Izmit, due to what officials have called “technical failure,” with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan and many other government officials on board.One of the train’s contact wires reportedly malfunctioned and technical teams were called to the site to resolve the problem It was uncertain when the train would resume its course.

The Ankara-Istanbul high-speed train line was making its debut as it left Ankara earlier on Friday. An inauguration ceremony was held in the city of EskiIehir at 2:30 pm, and a second opening ceremony had been scheduled to be held in Istanbul’s Pendik neighborhood at 6:30 pmThe 533-kilometer-long Ankara-Istanbul line will transport passengers between Turkey’s largest city and its capital in three-and-a-half hours and will make nine stops en route.

High-speed trains have been running between EskiIehir and Ankara since 2009 and between Ankara and Konya since 2011.Part of the project was built with a grant of 150 million euros from the European Union.

The total cost came to $4 million, $2 million of which was funded through loans.High-speed rail service in Istanbul will initially begin in Pendik, but the line will eventually be connected to the SIutlueIme station in KadIky on the Asian side of Istanbul.

By next year, the line is also expected to connect with the undersea Marmaray rail line and extend to the European-side suburb of HalkalI in western Istanbul.The travel time between the Pendik station in the Gebze district of Kocaeli province and Ankara will be two-and-a-half hours, and once the connection with the Marmaray is completed, passengers will be able to travel directly from the European side to Ankara Six trains will depart Istanbul for Ankara daily and six more will leave from the other direction.

Ticket prices will start at TL 70 for an economy seat, a figure below the cost of a one-way planet ticket but slightly more expensive than a bus ticket.The government hopes that rail transportation will serve 75-80 percent of the total transit between Ankara and Istanbul, according to Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lutfi Elvan, who spoke with journalists before the ceremony on Friday in EskiIehirA series of delays and accidents repeatedly postponed the opening of the Ankara-Istanbul high-speed line.

The most recent involved a partial collapse of station in the province of Sakarya, which resulted in the opening being pushed back to July.Problems on Ankara-Bursa line While trains are set to make their way between Turkey’s two largest cities, construction has halted on the high-speed rail line between Ankara and Bursa, as funding for the project has dried up.

Construction began in December 2012, and while one segment of the line was partially completed, no further progress was made, primarily due to a lack of funding. “The foundation was laid for the first segment of the Ankara-Bursa high-speed train line — a 75-kilometer section between Bursa and YeniIehir — on Dec.

23, 2012. It was said at the opening ceremony that the line was to be completed by 2016.

However, a variety of issues, such as the structure of the land, marshy regions and geographical difficulties, required that the route be changed. Tunnels collapsed and costs grew.

In the end, the Bursa-YeniIehir segment could not be completed in accordance with the tender conditions,” said opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Sena Kaleli in Parliament on Thursday, citing a report issued by the Court of Accounts.Kaleli also noted that the project had exhausted its budget of TL 393 million well before being completed.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman