Turkey Looks to Expand HSR Network
As California HSR finally moves toward construction, Turkey is moving ahead with plans to expand its own existing HSR network, including the all-important Ankara to Istanbul line set to open on Thursday:
The Ankara-Istanbul highspeed rail line, the next stage of the high-speed train project, part of the government’s plan for a major overhaul of the country’s crumbling railroad infrastructure, will be launched on July 25, bringing the length of high-speed train railways to 1,420 kilometers. High-speed train services are expected to cover more cities by 2023 according to the government’s plans….
Turkey now aims to reach the goal of 25,000 kilometers of rail lines with 3,500 kilometers high-speed train railways and 8,500 kilometers regular railways by 2023, the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. High-speed rail projects are also underway with a tender being launched for a high-speed train line between Sivas and the eastern province of Erzincan. Construction continues on high-speed rail lines that will connect Konya province to Gaziantep in the southeast through Mersin, Adana and Osmaniye in the south.
All in all, 17 provinces where almost half of Turkey’s 76 million residents live will be connected by high-speed trains. Turkey will also acquire seven sets of high-speed trains that can travel 300 kilometers per hour and 106 sets of highspeed trains. The first 20 sets of 106 high-speed trains will be obtained from foreign companies while the remainder will be jointly manufactured in Turkey by foreign and Turkish companies.
It seems that Americans have, for the moment, given up on any hope of catching up with the rest of the world when it comes to 21st century technology. We’re living through reactionary times, where the dominant political and media mindset is one of standing in the way of progress in order to preserve a failed status quo.
California is the exception so far, having to step up where a Tea Party Congress refuses to do so. The rest of the country will catch up, and thankfully California’s political leaders remain rightly supportive of the HSR project.