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ITE Transport and Logistics

Turkey hurls money into upgrading rolling stock

Turkey’s railways are undergoing something of a revolution. Nationwide, new lines are being built, existing routes have been upgraded, and privatisation is set to hit Turkish railways in the very near future. Without fresh rolling stock, all these measures are powerless. Luckily, Turkey is investing heavily in new trainsets going forward.

Turkey to spend millions on rolling stock in 2017

Turkey has a new national train operator, thanks to the nation’s ongoing liberalisation methods. TCDD Tasimacilik is starting its first twelve months by pumping money into a rolling stock buying regime. 

2017 will see TCDD Tasimacilik spend at least $152.4 million on new trains and wagons. Reflecting the scope of Turkey’s continuing efforts to upgrade all aspects of its rail network, investment in seemingly all major train categories is planned this year:

High-speed trains – High-speed railways are a huge priority for Turkey, so the bulk of TCDD Tasimacilik’s spending covers procurement of ultra-fast train sets. $65.3 million has been set aside for high-speed stock in 2017. 

Last year, six Siemens Velaro trains were bought by TCDD. Now, the operator is gearing up to buy 10 further high-speed sets, the first of 106-planned HST buying projects, with total spending on rapid trains floating around the $2.7 billion mark.

Freight wagons – TCDD runs a fleet of 18,000 freight wagons. Some of these units are unusable, so the operator has budgeted $35.3 million towards modernising its wagon fleet. 1,200 freight carriers will be bought or renovated in 2017.

Diesel multiple units (DMU) – This year’s budget for DMUs is $32.6 million. 52 diesel multiple units will be bought by TCDD. At present, the rail operator has 80 DMUs at its disposal. Only 48 of these are currently operational – hence the move by TCDD to buy more.

Test trains – High-speed rail is a relatively new concept in Turkey. To test its existing and upcoming lines, TCDD has around $14.9 million to spend on test trains.

Main line locomotives – Diesel locomotives are giving way to electric trains in Turkey. No diesel locomotives were bought in 2016. Subsequently, TCDD has allocated only a small budget to main line stock this year: $5.4 million. Even so, Turkey’s Tülomsaş and General Electric have been manufacturing GE’s Powerhaul class of diesel trains in Eskişehir since 2013 – although 70% of units are exported.

Shunting locomotives – Only 7 shunting locomotives will be purchased this year, with only $2.4 million of TCDD’s budget set aside for new units. These are likely to be locally-built shunters from domestic firm TUBITAK.

Electric multiple units  - Development of a Turkish EMU train is an ongoing concern, with total project investment set at around $136 million. 20 sets will be manufactured under this project, likely by local locomotive specialists. A symbolic sum has been apportioned to the project by TCDD this year. Only $272,000 will be spent on EMUs this year.

High-speed rail the focus of Turkish rolling stock buying

High-speed rail is very much the focus for TCDD at present. As mentioned above, up to $2.7 billion is to be invested in buying new train sets until at least 2023. 106 new high-speed train sets will be bought by this date.
Ankara-Istanbul, perhaps Turkey’s most well-established high-speed route, is to get 10 new sets to bolster passenger numbers by the turn of the decade. These new trains will be bought with a $334 million loan, courtesy of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
İsa Apaydınm, Director General of TCDD, has laid out the future of Turkey’s high-speed rolling stock procurement:

• 106 new units to be bought by 2023
• 10 sets to be funded by an IDB loan
• 96 sets will be procured via tender
• The first 20 sets bought by tender will be produced directly in the contractor’s facilities
• 60 train sets will be produced through technology transfer with a 53% localisation rate
• The remaining 16 will be produced in a new factory in Turkey with a minimum 74% localisation rate through technology transfer.

Foreign train builders find success in Turkey

Either through locally manufacturing rolling stock, or by directly selling units to Turkish railways, several international train producers have found success in Turkey. For example, and touched n briefly touched on earlier, Germany’s Siemens has supplied six Velaro high-speed sets for the Ankara-Konya line.

Elsewhere, Hyundai-Rotem won a contact so supply 80 electric locomotives in 2014. The first eight were produced in South Korea at Hyundai’s facilities, whereas the rest are being built by Tülomsaş. Electrical parts are supplied by Skoda from the Czech Republic.

Alsrom, France’s chief rolling stock manufacturer, has taken orders for several of its popular Pendolino as part of Turkey’s multi-billion high-speed procurement programme. Canada’s Bombadier has inked a deal with domestic fabricator Bozankaya to provide new carriages to TCDD in 2016 – showing how Turkey’s drive to update its domestic railways has an underlying international flavour.

Meet the Turkish rolling stock buyers who matter at Istanbul Rail Tech

Turkey’s rail operators have deep pockets, and are willing to spend big when it comes to rolling stock procurement. Discover just how big at Istanbul Rail Tech - a new two day exhibition dedicated to rail technology in the Turkish and Eurasian markets.

The event is a cost effective and time efficient platform to meet, negotiate and conduct business with buyers from rail networks, stations, and governments across Turkey, the Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe and Middle East regions.

Get more information on Istanbul Rail Tech here, or get in touch today to learn more about this brand new event on Turkey’s transport and logistics calendar.


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