Turkish high-speed train crashes on test drive

ISTANBUL Thu Jul 3, 2014 1:05pm EDT

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ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's long-awaited high-speed rail link between Istanbul and Ankara suffered a setback on Thursday when a test train crashed only days before its official opening by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish State Railways said nobody was hurt when the test run ended with the new train smashing into the rear of a work vehicle on the tracks.

The line between Turkey's two largest cities, its financial center Istanbul and capital Ankara, is one of a number of ambitious projects embarked upon by the government.

The 250 km/h trains are due to cover the 450-km (280 mile) distance in 3-1/2 hours.

Erdogan, who has relied heavily on infrastructure investment to drive the economy and win political support, is expected to cut the ribbon on July 11. The opening has been delayed by several months and he has blamed setbacks to the project on sabotage.

A previous attempt to link the two cities with a high speed rail-link turned sour when a train derailed in July 2004, killing 41 people.

(Reporting by Can Sezer, Writing by Seda Sezer. Editing by Jonny Hogg and Tom Heneghan)

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Comments (5)
REnninga wrote:
Quoting the article: “The 250 km/h trains are due to cover the 450-km (280 mile) distance in 3-1/2 hours.”

250 km/h x 3-1/2 hours = 875-km. So the ‘actual average speed’ of this train over this 450-km (280 mile) distance noted will be just 128.6 km/h (or 79.9 mph).

Turkey spent how much for this high speed train? High speed rail makes great economic sense over extended distance point-to-point runs. But conventional, much lower cost rail makes much more sense on shorter distances with multiple stops.

Why spend exorbitant sums of money for high speed rail systems on routes which they can only be run at speed for a few minutes at a time between stops. Using these systems in this way is like using a Supersonic Concorde, for a regional commuter airline.

Jul 03, 2014 1:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Doc62 wrote:
High speed rail has done very well in Europe. The AVE from Barcelona to Madrid is better and quicker than flying. The Spanish have controlled terrorism. Remember Atocha Sta?

Jul 08, 2014 11:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Darkdart wrote:
Ummmm….ok, since when is 80 miles per hour considered a “High Speed” transport? Save your money, Turkey. All you’ll end up doing is leaving platforms, tools, carts with chickens and other sundry obstacles on the tracks creating more setbacks and time delays. By the time you figure it all out, your residents from Istanbul could have walked….

Jul 08, 2014 3:00pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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