(Corrects Tuesday to Thursday in first paragraph)
ISTANBUL, July 3 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
centre 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
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)